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^ ^^ 

Qi^Du sTt all bit, ® tng lobt, fliili t>|tTc is nrt b spot in tfptc. 



Jiran^KT of t!)t ffanBtrjatiDn of tfjc faost JKoIg ISclinmct, 

Printed for the Krttmptarist Jfatljtts, St. Mjhy's, Clapiam, 
Surrey; to be liad of J. J. Wallwore, 43, Otval 
Mar/'wrnvflt. Sti-^/, R^enl Street^ anil iifalt Bookwllcirs, 

UtiM, make Ijaslt, HID litr.mgBDDr, mu ttimliful ciir, b«B :(i 

WE hereby approve ol this TranBlation of 
"The GuiRiEa of Maey," and cordially recom- 
mend it to the Faithful. 


Archbishop op Westminster. 

Givfn at Wentfahiater, on the Femt 
qf Saint Alplwnui) (?e' Ligmr'i, 
A.D- 1862. 

— « mi" 

IN presenting to English Catholics, a new and complete 
translation of the * Glories of Maiy/ from the Italian 
of Saint Alphonsus de' Liguori, it is quite unnecessary to 
speak of a life and of virtues, which have merited for him 
the highest honour bestowed by the Church of God upon 
her most illustrious children. His name is dear to all 
Catholics ; and the sweet odour of his virtues has been 
every where disseminated by his works, in which the 
blessed Saint has planted them, as in a garden of delights. 
But in the midst of this garden, beloved reader, one bed 
of choicest flowers is seen, whose fragrance attracts the 
traveller from afar ; and which, as he approaches, ravishes 
his soul. It is *love for Mary' which composes the 
flower-bed of which we speak ; for though in this garden 
flowers of every kind abound, yet *love for Mary' is the 
rose whose scent has been wafted by the breeze on every 
side ; it is * love for Mary' which more especially adorns 
the Saint's eternal crown, and which has become in a 
manner identified with himself; so that the very mention 
of Alphonsus's name, recalls the love of Mary to each 
Christian heart. The cold North wind, and the warm and 
bahny breezes of the South, have alike blown through this 
garden of delights. The cold North wind, I say, which 
chills devotion in the Church of God, which would induce 
men to refuse to Mary that love and honour which God 
Himself has given her ; and which, under specious pre- 
texts of reverence, would at length drive from amongst 
us her sweet name. Yes, indeed, this wind has blown 
through the beautiful bed of roses which is now presented 
to you. Alphonsus's love for his mother is said to be 
too great, exaggerated, derogatory of the love due to 
Jesus Christ. Oh God ! as if all could not see, could not 
know, that this love, this excess of love, is only an effect. 


while love for Jesus is its cause ; and, because the cause is 
great, the effect is also great. Should you, then, dear 
reader, hear this said, reply with confidence to all who 
condemn our Saint : 'Alphonsus's love for Mary seems to 
you too great, because you love Jesus less than he ; try, 
then, to love Jesus more, and your love for Mary wiU at 
once increase.' But the sweet zephyrs of the South have 
also blown through this garden, and friendly souls, the 
true children of Mary, have inhaled these delicious per- 
fumes, and thereby have become as pillars of smoke of 
aromatical spices, and ascended to the throne of God. 
Oh, how many have been delivered from hell by this sweet 
devotion 1 how many have thus become illustrious in the 
Christian warfare, and at length have been placed on the 
altars of the church ! 

But enough ! this sweet flower is now in the reach of 
all, so that each may, while perusing this little work, enjoy 
its delicious scent: I wiU therefore only premise a few 
remarks, which may help to increase the confidence of its 
readers in aU that they wiU find advanced, as to the 
greatness, and the power of this Mother of God, as also 
as to her love and tender mercy for us. In a Protestant 
country, and breathing a Protestant atmosphere, it is 
difiicult to have those tender feelings of love and con- 
fidence, which all true CalthoHcs should entertain towards 
Mary ; but as the difficulty is great, so also should our 
efforts be great to obtain and nourish in our souls, that 
tender devotion towards her, which is looked upon by the 
saints and spiritual writers as a pledge of eternal sal- 

When an artist has attained perfection in his art, he 
attracts many pupils, who desire to learn from him the 
secret by which he has obtained so high renown. They 
are not deceived ; for after the productions of the master 
himself, those of his school are the most esteemed. We 
are all artists in this world, and have to copy Jesus Christ 
the perfect model in ourselves. The reward for which we 
hope, is the model Himself, and His kingdom ; but, as in 

translator's preface. 

His kingdom there are many mansions, so shall we re- 
ceive Him in a greater or less measure, according to 
the correctness with which we have copied Him in our- 

Although in every art certain general rules are given, 
it is, however, in their application that the secret of per- 
fection lies. The school in which we haye to learn our 
art, is that of the holy Catholic Church ; she was com- 
missioned by our Lord Himself to teach us; we were 
commanded to hear and obey her, under pain of being 
considered as heathens, and the rules she lays down are 
infallible, because our Lord himself teaches us through 
her, and the Spirit of Truth abides with her all days. 
She gives us the rules of our art, not only in her dog- 
matical definitions, and in her practice, but also in the 
models which she constantly sends forth from her school 
in the persons of her canonized Saints. I need hardly 
speak of her dogmatical definitions, for all know that it is 
an article of ' faith, that it is good and useful to implore the 
intercession of the Saints, and particularly that of the 
holy Mother of God.'^ But let us see how the holy Church 
herself applies this rule, and how the Saints, whom she gives 
us as models, have understood it, for from them we can 
learn our art. The Church celebrates throughout the year, 
many festivals in honour of the Mother of God, and those of 
which she has approved, for particular countries, localities, 
and religious orders, are innumerable. The offices for these 
festivals are filled with exhortations which excite in us 
precisely those feelings towards the Mother of God, which 
are expressed throughout the present work. Speaking in 
the name of Mary, the Church says in those offices : "In 
me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is aU 
hope of life and of virtue." ^ "He that hearkeneth 
to me, shaU not be confounded ; and they that work by 
me, shall not sin."^ " Blessed is the man that heareth me, 
and that watcheth daily at my gates ... he that shall 

* Coue. Trid. Ses*. xxv. > Eccles. xxiv, 36. ' Eccla. xxiv, 30. 

h « 

vi teanslator's preface. 

find me, shall find life, and shall have salvation from the 
Lord ... all that hate me love death."^ Again, all the 
offices of the Church are preceded and followed by prayer 
to Mary. In them we are taught to call her * Our life,' 
because, as Saint Bernard says, she is the channel through 
which grace comes to us, which is the life of the soul : 
* Our sweetness and our hope,' for as Saint Anselm says, 
if Mary prays for us, the whole court of heaven prays ; 
but if she is silent, all are silent and none wiU help us ; 
therefore the above-named Saint Bernard exhorts us to 
seek for grace, and seek it by Mary ; and then declares 
that she is the sinner's ladder, all his confidence, and the 
whole ground of his hope. This is again confirmed by 
the Church sighing to Mary, and calling her our gracious 

In fine, when Jesus is exposed on the altar in the 
sacrament of His love, whom do we invite to present our 
prayers to Him? It is His own sweet Mother Mary. 
We then address her by all the titles, which hearts in- 
flamed with the most lively faith in her greatness and 
power, the most firm hope in her goodness and mercy, the 
most ardent love for the tenderest and best of mothers, 
could possibly invent. In time of trial, when the hand of 
God weighs heavily on Christian people, and they are 
afflicted by the sword, famine, or pestilence ; when the 
bark of Peter is tossed about amidst the waves of persecu- 
tion, then it is, dear reader, that we see the spirit of the 
holy Catholic Church in her practice, then in all sincerity 
we learn from her where to find the Tower of David, from 
which hang "a thousand bucklers, all the armour of 
valiant men"^ in which the Church can find defence; for 
we are then invited to raise our hearts in prayer to Mary, 
the help of Christians and the Mother of Mercy, and never 
do we call in vain, as indeed the holy Church proclaims : 
* Thou, O Mary, hast alone conquered all heresies through- 
out the world.' " She is terrible as an army in battle 
array."''^ She is the health of the weak. Thus are we 

» Prop, viii, 34, 35, 36. * Cunt, iii, 4. » Cant, vi, 3 

translator's preface. vii 

taught, and such is the practice of the holy Catholic 
Church, which can never lead us astray, since it is the pillar 
and ground of truth. Let us now ask the Saints, those 
heroes of Christianity, and our models, how they have 
attained so great perfection ? With one voice they tell us 
that every grace came to them through the hands of Mary. 
We have already heard the sentiments of the great Saint 
Bernard on this subject, and the innumerable testimonies 
to the same effect to be found in the present work render 
it unnecessary to repeat them. I will, however, remark, 
that the greater part of the Saints, when speaking of the 
greatness, the power, the love of Mary, and of their confi- 
dence in her, seemed to know no bounds. Unable to find 
terms sufficiently strong, amongst those which are appli- 
cable to creatures, they have applied to her terms which, 
in their strict sense, are applicable to God alone. Yet 
the Church examines their writings, submits them to the 
severest scrutiny, and declares that there is nothing in 
them worthy of censure, and why ? Because their love 
for Mary was a reflected love ; they loved Mary, the 
beloved of God, so much because they loved Him much, 
and this alone gave its proper value to the terms they 
used, which received their limit in the limits of the creature 
to which they were addressed. But if, on the one hand, 
we find perfection in the art of sanctity, carrying with it 
the characteristic mark of devotion to the Blessed Virgin, 
indeed so much so that we may measure the perfection of 
each Saint by the measure of his devotion to the Mother 
of Gt)d ; so, on the other hand, we shall find that the 
further a Catholic is from sanctity, the further is he from 
devotion to Mary : he is first of all cold and indifferent, 
he then becomes hypocritically zealous for God's glory and 
for the purity of the Church, the spotless bride of Christ, 
until at length, passing beyond her pale, his coldness, in- 
difference, and hypocritical zeal are changed into bitter 
hatred for the Mother of God, and he no longer can hear 
her named without feeling himself tormented as were the 
demoniacs by the presence of our Lord ; and this hatred 


finds too often vent in blasphemies which belong not to 
man, but to those evil spirits which then possess him ; 
thus verifying the words which were spoken from the 
beginning : "I will put enmities between thee and the 
woman, and thy seed and her seed.''^ Our Blessed Lady 
herself, inspired by the Holy Ghost, gives beautiful ex- 
pression, in a few words, to this principle : " Behold 
from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.''^ 
Elizabeth, filled with admiration and gratitude for the 
precious gifts she had in that moment received thi'ough 
Mary, the channel of graces, had exclaimed : " Blessed art 
thou amongst women. "^ Mary replied, * Yes, Elizabeth, 
because, through my voice, thou hast received the Holy 
Ghost, and thy Son has been sanctified in thy womb, 
thou callest me blessed ; but behold, all who receive the 
same grace will also call me blessed.' Mary well knew, 
that those who had not this grace would not call her 
blessed, but would even crucify her beloved Son before 
her own eyes ; hence the Holy Ghost manifests himself in 
us, in love, and praises, and blessings of the Mother of 
God ; and the greater is our plenitude of the Holy Ghost, 
the greater are these effects. And because the Saints had, 
so to say, an excess of this plenitude, their expressions of 
love, of praise, of confidence in Mary, the blessings which 
they lavished upon her, knew no bounds. Because we 
have not their plenitude, we do not speak as they spoke, 
and if we do not possess within us this spirit of life, we 
not only do not speak as they did, but we reprove that 
which we cannot comprehend : " For what participation 
hath justice with injustice ? or what fellowship hath light 
with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with 
Belial?"* The Church, which always possesses the Holy 
Ghost, not only does not reprove this unbounded love and 
confidence, but herself gives full expression to it. 

Let us now, dear reader, see how deserving Mary is of 
all these praises. When a God became man, it certainly was 
not becoming that He should take flesh of one in whom He 

1 Gen. iu, 16. * Luc. i, 48. » Luc. i, 43. * 3 Cor. vi, 14, 16. 

translator's Fl^FACE. ix 

was not as folly glorified as was possible in a pure creature;^ 
for, as everythmg that comes from the hands of Grod must, 
in a given point, perfectly attain the end for which it is 
created, otherwise the work would be imperfect, which 
cannot be said of the works of an all-wise God ; so it was 
becoming, that at least one pure creature should attain 
that perfection, which was afterwards to find its consumma- 
tion, and be crowned in the person of an Incarnate God. 
The end for which God created man was, that man might 
love Him with all his heart and soul, and mind, and 
strength, and thus glorify Him in His greatness, goodness, 
and mercy, or, neglecting to do this, that he might glorify 
Him in the attribute of His justice. As Gt)d was to become 
man in the exercise of the attribute of His goodness and 
mercy, it was becoming, that He should only take flesh 
of one who had glorified Him by attaining the culminating 
point of perfection of which a pure creature was susceptible, 
and who had herself glorified Him as much as it was pos- 
sible for her nature to have done. This was really the 
case, for we are assured of it by God's heavenly messen- 
ger ; for, saluting the humble Mary, the archangel Gabriel 
said, " Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee."^ The 
Church also assures us the same thing, saying, that ' Mary 
merited to bear Christ our Lord.' In the whole of the 
sacred Scriptures, only two persons are spoken of as being 
full of grace in the strict sense of the term — the one is 
Christ our Lord, who was " full of grace and truth " ^ — 
the other was Mary : " Hail fuU of grace." What is the 
meaning of full of Grace ? It can only meau, that Mary 
was always the friend of God, always spotless ; not only 
that she never oflfended Him by the least actual sin, and 
that she was never hateful to Him as she would have 
been had she ever contracted the stain of original sin, 

1 Saint Thomaa teaches, that the Divine power ia 80 great, that however much 
it ^ves, it can always give more ; and although the natural capacitv of creatures 
is in itself limited as to receiving, so that it can be entirely fillea, nevertheless 
its power to obey the Divine will is illimited, and God can always M it more by 
tncreasinir its capacity to receive. When we sa^ that God was as folly glorified in 
Mary as He could be, and that she was as full of grace as she conld be, we of course 
speak of her natural capacity, not of her obedientitd power. — Note 2, page 273. 

» Luc. i, 28. » Joan, i, U. 

X taanslatqb's preface. 

bat also that in every moment of her life she always 
fully corresponded with Divine grace, always loved Hun 
with her whole heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. 
And why is this a necessary consequence? Because, 
were it not so, there would have been a moment lost, 
a moment in which she might have loved God more, a 
moment which could never be recovered, hence she would 
not have been full of grace. If we put a stone into a 
vessel, and fill that vessel with water to the brim, we can- 
not strictly say that it is full of wat«r, neither can we say 
that Mary was ftdl of grace, if ever there was a moment 
in her life which was not fiUed with it ; for althoivgh from 
the vessel of water we might afterwards take the stone, and 
supply its place with water, a moment of time cannot be 
recovered. Mary then was always pure, was always holy, 
always the friend of Grod, and always beloved by Him 
above all other pure creatures, consequently is deserving 
of our love above all other creatures. She merited to be 
the Mother of our Lord ; but this could never have been 
said of her, had she ever displeased Him who is sanctity 
itself. We will now see the effects of this sanctity in the 
life of our Blessed Lady. 

The most perfect mLner in which we can senre God 
is to walk in the path of pure simple faith: "Faith 
is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evi- 
dence (conviction) of things that appear not."^ We 
walk in this path when deprived of aU evidence of 
the things which we believe, beyond the knowledge 
that God has taught them by the mouth of the Church; 
when deprived of all consolation we still believe firmly, 
and walk according to our belief. The Saints were 
favoured by God with visions and revelations, with the 
gift of prophecy and miracles; but these favours were 
either for their own benefit or for the benefit of others. 
They were for their own benefit, either to confirm their 
faith in the present moment or for a future time, that they 
might be able to endure some great trials. Had not 
their weak nature needed these favours, they never would 

» Heb. xi, 1. 

translator's preface. xi 

have received them, for they would have been simply 
rewards, but Grod punishes when he rewards in this 
world. I say that they \^ould have been simple re- 
wards, for these favours are granted, and are rewards, 
in as much as they confirm the Saints in their holy 
lives, and enable them to attain a perfection which they 
could not otherwise reach 5 but had they been perfect in 
the full extent of the term, they would not have needed 
them, and would not have received them. I am, of course, 
speaking of person&l favours, not of those which were for 
the benefit of others. Maiy was perfect in aU things, 
therefore she always walked in the path of pure faith. 
She was the strong woman who needed not consolations ;^ 
she was the beloved of God who was to receive her whole 
reward in heaven. Where do we read in the Gospel that 
she was consoled ? Her spirit it is true rejoiced, but it was 
purely in God, in her lively faith. All with Mary was 
pure faith ; she had to take refuge in a stable to give birth 
to One whom she believed Grod ; she had to fly from before 
the fiEioe of men into Egypt, and yet believe that that Son 
whose life she had to save, was Ufe itself. She had thus 
to fly, on the order of Saint Joseph who had seen the 
angel, for the angel did not speak to Mary. Lastly, to 
omit many other instances, she stood at the foot of the 
cross, saw her Son abandoned by all, and heard Him ex- 
claim that He was abandoned, even by His Eternal Father, 
and yet her faith never faltered. "Who shall find a 
valiant woman ? Far and from the uttermost coast is the 
price of her." ^ And to conclude, the Gospd says : " But 
He rising early the first day of the week, appeared first 
to Mary Magdalen."^ May not the evai^list have thus 
expressed himself, to show that Mary was so perfect that 
she needed not the consolation of seeing her Son ; and if she 
needed it not, she did not receive His visit as a reward ; her 
whdb reward was reserved for heaven. All tradition teaches 
that our Lord appeared first to our Blessed Lady, and we 
do not doubt it ; but it was perhaps as an act of filial duty 

J Prov. ixxi, 10. « Mare, ivi, 9. • 


on the part of her Divine Son. He perhaps discharged a 
debt which He owed to His own filial Iotc for His dear 
Mother. Therefore, as His apparitions to all others be- 
longed to another order, to the order of grace and mercy, 
which is the one to which His visit to our Blessed Lady 
would have belonged had she required it, the Evangelist 
says, that " He . . . appeared first to Mary Magdalen." 

Our Lord was comforted by an angel in the garden of 
Olives, but was not this to teach us that He truly suffered, 
to encourage and teach us how to suifer, and to give ad- 
ditional physical strength to His humanity that he might 
suffi^r/more; and again, it was not a simple consolation, 
far from it ; He was encouraged to suffer, and to drain 
the bitter chalice of His Passion to the very dregs. One 
word more ; as it was unbecoming that Jesus should be 
bom of a Mother whose soul was ever stained by sin ; so 
also, it would have been unbecoming Him to have been 
bom of a Mother whose body was imperfect. Hence, 
Mary did not die of any corporal disease, but as her Divine 
Son, through love for his creatures died of a broken heart, 
so also did Mary die of love for God. Thus, dear reader, 
you see the perfection, the sanctity of Maiy, and how de- 
serving she is of our love. I have only one consideration 
more to submit to you, and shall then conclude. 

By the disobedience of our first parents God had been 
outraged, and man had entailed upon himself a just sen- 
tence of eternal death. A Eedeemer was promised. He 
was to make an ample atonement to the outraged Majesty 
of God, and restore man to the life of grace. It was 
becoming that this atonement and restoration to life 
should have their effect by means which corresponded 
with the cause of the evil to be repaired. The causes of 
the evil were the woman and the serpent ; the fault dis- 
obedience, which has its root in pride ; and the woman 
extended the evil which she had done by giving the for- 
bidden fruit to Adam. Man was then driven from the 
garden of paradise, and an angel placed at its gates, lest 
perhapsi Adam ** might put forth his hand, and take also 

translator's preface. xiii 

of the tree of life."^ Did the means of repdration cor- 
respond with these causes ? Did the reparatibn produce 
effects corresponding with these effects ? 

" The angel Gabriel was sent from God ... to a Virgin 
. . . and the Yirgin's name was Maiy. And the angel 
bdng come in said unto her : HaiL, full of grace, the Lord 
is with thee : blessed art thou among women . . . thou 
shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son : 
and thou shalt call his name Jesus . . . also the Holy 
which shall be bom of thee shall be called the Son of 
Grod . . . And Mary said : Behold the handmaid of the 
Lord, be it done to me according to thy word."^ In 
these few words we find the counterpart of the first 
portion of the history of man's fall — ^Eve, a Virgin free 
from every stain of sin, listened to the fallen angel. 
Mary, a Virgin free from every stain of sin, listened to 
the good angel. Eve disobeyed the command of God, 
and in her pride desired to be as God. Mary obeyed in 
her humility the will of God : " Behold the handmaid of 
the Lord ;" and, " He hath regarded the humility of His 
handmaid."^ Eve plucked the fruit : Mary received the 
fruit of life, the price of man's redemption into her womb. 
Eve gave the fruit and death to Adam : Mary gave the 
fruit and life to the world. And as Eve was the channel 
of all woes to the vrhtAe human race, so is Mary the 
channel of all grace to every creature. I pass over all 
that might be said of the Presentation of our Lord in the 
temple, and of His after life, to come to the second paradise, 
the mount of Calvary. We there see the sad ravages 
that sin has made. Wickedness seemed to triumph; weep- 
ing, mourning, and death reigned on every side; the sun, no 
longer shone brightly as of old, it was darkened. But let us 
draw near, for the tree of life stood in the centre of this 
paradise ; the four rivers flowed, which were even then re- 
storing dl to more than their former life and beauty; and at 
the foot of that tree stood the woman, offering the blessed 
fruit of her womb to the Eternal Father, to pay the price 



of man's redemption ; hex offering was accepted, for she was 
pure and spotless; her offering was accepted, for while 
she offered it, the victim also offered Hunself, who, at 
the same time that He was a poor suffering man, 
clothed with our sins and iniquities was also God, the 
second person of the most blessed Trinity, bom of the 
Father before all ages. But behold, O Christian^ the 
Lamb of God, thy Eede^ner. Behold that tender, that 
innocent Jesus,, all mangled and torn. He has become as 
a leper ; there is no comeliness in Him ; He is eyen now 
about to expire under these cruel torments. Ah I who 
has thus tortured the innocent Lamb of Gbd ? It- was 
man, His own creature whom He came to save. But how 
could man thus torture one in whom there was no sin, 
who went about doing good? It was the serpent who 
deceived him, that serpent who in the garden of paradise 
had caused man's fall now deceived himself; for he doubted 
whether it was the Son of God ; but knowing that He was 
a just man who persecuted him he sought his revenge, 
and said : " Let us cut him off from the land of the living, 
and let his name be remembered no more ;"^ and thus 
became the very instrument of that death which gave life 
to the world. Behold the offering is already made ; man 
is once more restored to life by the instrumentality of a 
pure and spotless woman : *' He was offered because He 
wiUed it."3 Who offered Him? He offered Himself, 
but Mary offered Him also. She had aco^ted Him by 
her own free-will. He would not become man without 
her consent. She was a Virgin, and was not bound by 
the law ; but she presented Him to His Eternal Father in 
the temple. She heard the price of the sacrifice : "And 
thine own soul a sword shall pierce."^ And she h^elf 
stood at the foot of the cross, and ratified it. The price 
is already paid, but Eve had given the fruit to Adam. 
Mary was to give the fruit to the world, for all graces 
were to come to us through her: "Jesus saith to His 
Mother : Woman behold thy Son. After that He saith 

* Jerem. xi, 19. » Zr. liii, 7- * Lue. ii, S5. 


to tke diseit^: behold t% oioth^."^ ^Thou art no 
longer my Motliw, for thou Imst lestored me to my Eternal 
Fatib^» from wb(mi thou did»t reoeive me. Thou hast 
paid ae 83 Ihe ]^oe of man'^s redeinption. Behold thou 
haat puxthased thsm ; thtbu hast purchased th^ lives ; 
give life unto them ; they are thy children. Oh men, 
liehc^your true Mother; behold your advocate; behold 
her who will obtain all good things from Me for you.' 
Thia mount «f Cdvary wa3, as I have akieady remai^ked, 
the eounteipart of pai^idise. Jesus, therefore, to show us 
that His holy Mothet took the pkee of Eve, not of guilty 
JSre, the mot^r of death, but of the innocent Eve who^ 
Itad ehe not sinned, would have brought forth her diildjpen 
iiBto life; and also to show us,- that she was the woman 
foi«t(^ in Genesis, who was to -emah the serpent's head, 
eaUa hel: "Womaii;" for thu3 alone was Eve called in 
her stfite Of itmoo^ice. On one other occasion does oftt: 
Lord address His most holy Motheir by this luune : it 
was «^hen she antidpat^ the office with which she was 
charged -on GalVaiy, and became the adybcate of the 
bride, «m1 bridegroom of Cana: ''Woman, what is 
that to thee and to me ? my hour is not yet come." ^ In 
the serenth -chapter of Saint John it is said that, '* No 
man had hondft on Him because His hour was not yet 
come." And iki ike thirte^h t^apter: "Bef(»e the 
festival day of the Fasdi, Jiosus knowing that His hour 
was come that He should pass out of thk world to the 
FaitheK," &c. Therefore. Jesus spdce of the hour of His 
death, and 6aid to Mary : ' The hour in which my sacri&ee 
is to be comi^ieted ; thle hoior in which thou wilt offer me 
to the Eternal Ealther, and reeeive men. in exchange ; the 
hour in which thi»u wilt become the dispenser of all 
gEaoB8» the Mother^ the advocate of all who are my dis- 
ciples, Is not yet cone ; but since thou anticipatest it I 
mH. also do so. *^ Wodian," our dear Mother well under- 
stood these words. She bsw- thereby that her request was 
granted, and turning to the servants, she said, " What- 

xvi teanslatob's psepace. 

soever He sliall say to you do ;" and our Lord worked His 
first miracle by changing water into wine. 

Thus, dear reader, we have seen that the Church teaches 
us to love Mary, and to go to her as to our Queen, our 
refuge, our advocate, and our Mother ; for all the Saints 
have attained perfection by this road, while the wicked run 
in the opposite direction. We have seen that our salva- 
tion is more or less secure in proportion as we love and 
confide in this best of Mothers, who is the most perfect of 
all pure creatures, and consequently the most beloved by 
Grod, and the most powerful to obtain all good things from 
her Divine Son. We have seen that she was the counter- 
part of Eve, and co-operated in our salvation as Eve bad 
co-operated in our eternal death. We have seen that our 
Lord Himself gave her to us as our Mother and Advocate, 
through whom we are to receive all graces. And, finally, 
that in her all things are restored; for she is the new 
paradise, the *' enclosed garden'' in which grew that fruit 
of life of which we are commanded to eat : " My flesh is 
meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.'' '' He that 
eateth this bread shall live for ever."^ Choose then, 
beloved reader, will you range yourself on the side of the 
wicked, who fear to love Mary too much, or wilTyou not 
rather follow the holy Catholic Church and all the Saints in 
that tender and filial love, that unbounded confidence which 
they have ever shown to this most loving, most sweet, 
most compassionate of all Mothers ? Oh yes, I doubt not 
but that the last will be your course, and then, in truth, I 
am happy ; for if you persevere in loving Mary you will 
be saved, and that is my most ardent desire. Be assured 
of it your salvation is certain. The devil wiU, however, 
do all that he can to shake your resolution ; therefore be 
on your guard, and look always with suspicion on all who 
speak slightingly of Mary, and say that the Church or 
the Saints attribute too much to her ; for under the garb 
of a friendly advice is concealed a snare of your cruel 

1 Joan. yU 66, 69. 

T&AN6LAT0B's PBEfACE. xvil 

tn the work now before us we find many examples of 
miracles and graces obtained through the intercession of 
Mary. Saint Alphonsus does not pledge himself to them, 
he merely gives them as illustrations, on the authority of 
authors, who, in his time, were deemed trustworthy. Each 
one can admit or reject them as he would any historical 
fact. If he thinks the evidence sufficient he can admit 
them, if not he can reject them. I would, however, make 
one remark, which is, that Saint Alphonsus was a learned 
man as well as a Saint, and therefore we are not, on slight 
grounds, to reject that which he has inserted in his works 
as being founded on good authority. In this present 
translation, two examples have been omitted, not on ac- 
count of their wonderfiil character, but because very ex- 
traordinary events require an authority of more than 
ordinary weight. That on which these two examples are 
founded, was considered, in the last century, good, by 
learned men. Since that time, however, doubts have been 
raised upon the subject. I have therefore substituted for 
them, two examples taken from the third part of the work. 
Some of the examples may, at first sight, seem trivial, but, 
on reflection, they will be found to contain deep subject 
for thought. As an illustration of what I say, I may 
refer to the case of a holy man who ardently desired to see 
our Blessed Lady. This good Mother was willing to 
gratify her loving" client, but sent him word that it could 
only be on condition, that after seeing her he should remain 
blind. Mary appeared, but her servant, unwilling to lose 
both his eyes, looked at her with one only, whereupon she 
disappeared. Now, how sublime a lesson is taught us in 
these few words. If we hope to see Grod and our dear 
Mother Mary, we must close our eyes to the things of the 
world, we cannot serve Grod and mammon; and if we 
divide our hearts and endeavour to serve both we shall 
fall off entirely from the service of God, and from devo- 
tion to Mary, and thus lose our souls. The well-disposed 
will find in the whole work, as well as in the examples, 
everything that they can desire to inspire them with holy 

xviii tkanslatok's preface. 

thoughts and affections, to inspire them with greater and 
greater devotion to Mary, and gratitude to God, who, in 
the person of His most holy Mother, has given us the 
most holy, the most powerM, and the most compassionate 
of Mothers; and to strengthen and confirm them in a 
devotion which certainly is a pledge of eternal salvation, 
and which is granted by Grod only to those whom He sees 
will correspond with grace, and consequently be saved. 
On the other hand, the ill disposed will find in this 
work, as indeed they do, according to the measure of their 
iniquity, in the sublimest doctrines of the Catholic Church, 
ample scope for their irreverent or wicked criticisms. For 
such the work is not written ; but do you, dear reader, 
study and meditate upon all it contains with that child- 
like simplicity which is so pleasing to God, and to which 
the kingdom of heaven is promised. Bemember that it 
has been strictly examined by the authority which is 
charged by God Himself to instruct you, and that that 
authority has declared that it contains nothing worthy 
of censure ; that it has been welcomed by all lovers of 
Jesus and Mary throughout the world, with an enthusiasm 
which can only be equalled by the scorn and ridicule 
which, as an invariable rule, attend all that is powerful 
to snatch from the world its votaries, and from hell its 

In presenting you with this work I realise a long 
and affectionately cherished desire of my heart. I 
offer to my own sweet Mother Mary a very small 
instalment of a debt of gratitude, which the thanks 
and praises which I hope, through her intercession, to 
lavish upon her for all eternity in heaven will not pay, 
but if she only graciously deigns to accept it, such as it 
is, and to give me her maternal blessing, and at the same 
time bestow that same blessing on all who read this work, 
I can truly say in the joy of my soul : "Now dost Thou 
dismiss, O Lord, Thy servant in peace, for mine eyes have 
seen Thy salvation." Pray for me, gentle reader, and 
may we, after this our exile, meet together at the feet of 


OUT beloTed Queen, to praise and thank her for ever for 
that happinesa for which we shaU then see that we are 
indebted to hei, who has been made the dispenser of all 
the graces purchased at the price of the precious blood of 
ber Divine Son, who, with the Father and the Holy 
Ghost, liveB and re^ns, one Qod, world without end. 

N.B. The many editions through which the Italian of 
the ' Glories of Maby' has passed, have caused, through 
the negligence of printers and editors, innumerable errors 
to creep into the work. These errors are not only in the 
references and quotations, but in upwards of thirty, or even 
more places, where the names of authors bad any similarity 
the one has been substituted for tbe other. I have carefully 
compared and corrected all these quotations with tl^ 
ori^ial from which tbey are taken. In the few instances 
in which I have been unable to procure the authors or to 
find the quotations, I have put this sign f , not to denote 
that they do not esist, but simply to indicate that I do not 
pledge myself to them. Some of the indulgences granted 
to certain devotions have aLso been corrected on the 
antliority of the 'Saccolta.' 


Kote 3, page 24, add the reference Lib. i, Settt. List, xlviii, art. 3, q. 2, concl. 

For Note 1, page 83, read Nulla post ea creatura, ita per amorem ezarescet » 
quae amantiuiinura Filium suum, et unicum, quern mulier plus Beipw amavit, 
nobis dedit, et pro nobis obtulit. — Serm. i, de B. V. M. 

Page 71, 2d line, for Saint Antoninus read Biehard of Saint Lawrenee. 

Page 400, last two lines, for Saint John Chrysostom read Saint Peter Chry- 

Page 468, first word of Note 5, /or suberam read suj^bam. 

This sign t is to be placed after the following notes : — 
Note 3, page 126. Note 1, page 162. Note 3, page 180. Note 1, page 356. 
Notes 4, 6, pi^ 114. 

In older editions of the works of Saint Ansdm the treatise * De Excellentift 
Yirginis' is attributed to him, but in later editions it is given as the work of 
another author. 



Tsahslatoe's Fkdacs . . iii 



bmoDucnoir . . S 

PKAixm lo TBS ButniTn ynam.— To obtain a CKmmI Death 9 


Chap. I. — Haily Soly Queen, Mother of Mercy! 

Sbctxoii L — Hour great ahonkl be our confidence in Mary, who ia the 
Qneen of Mercy .11 

SBCTXoir XL — Baw much our confidence in ICaiy should be increaaed, 
fiom the fiict of her being oar Mother .SI 

SxcnoH m.— On the creatneas of the love which this Mother bean na . 89 

Sbctoui IY/— Maiy ia nie Mother of Repentant Sinnen .48 

Chap. n. — Our Life, our Sweetnese, 
SkcnoH L— -Mary ia oar lifie, because she obtains ns the Furdon of onr 


SscnoH n.— Maiy ia also our life, becanae she obtains ns Perseverance . S9 
SscTiOH IIL—Mtty renden Death sweet to her Chenta 68 

Chap, m.— ^Ont Rope. 

Sxcnoir I.— Mary is the Hope of all' . .79 

SxcnoH IL—Maiy is the Hope of Sinnen .88 

Chap. IY. — To thee do we ety, poor batiMed children ofEne, 

SkcnoH L— On the promptitade of Mary in aaaisting thoae who invoke 
her ....... 100 

SiCTioN n. — Of the greatness of the power of Mary to defend those who 
invoke her when tempted by the devil .... 110 

Chap. Y. — To thee do we sigh, mowmi$ig omd weeping, in thie 

Valley of Tears. 

Sicnoir L— Of the Neceasity of the Intercession of Mary for oar Salvation ISO 
Sbctuh II/-*The aama sobjeet continned .188 



Chap. YI. — O, ffraciout Advocate, 

Section I. — ^Mary is an Advocate wlio ia able to save all 

SxcTioN II. — ^Mary is so tender an Advocate^ that she does not refuse 

defend the cause even of the most miserable 
Section in. — Mary is the peace-maker betvreen sinners and God 

Chap. Vil. — Tum^ then, thine eyes of mercy towards 
Mary is aD eyes to pity and succour us in our necessities 

Chap. Vlli. — And after this owr exUe^ sAaw unto tie ike 

fruit of thy toomb, Jesus, 

Skction I. — ^Mary delivers her Clients from Hell 
Section n. — ^Mary succours her clients in Purgatory . 
Section UL — Mary leads her Servants to Heaven 

Chap. IX.— O Clement, O Pious, 
Of the greatness of the Clemency and Conqtassion of Mary 

Chap. X — O sujeet Viryin Mary. 
Of the sweetness of the name of Mary during life and at death . 


. 144 

. 155 

. 163 

. 174 


. 188 
. 198 
. 196 

. SOS 

. S19 


Prayter of Saint Ephrem ...... tKl3 

Prayer of Saint Bernard ...... SSS 

Prayer of Saint Oermaiuis . . > . . S34 

Prayer of Blessed Raymond Jourdain .... 235 

Prayer of Saint Methodius . .886 

Prayer of Saint John Damascen ..... 2$6 

Prayer of Siaint Andrew of Candia ..... SS6 

Prayer of Saint Ildephonsus . . ' . . 237 

Prayer of Sainit Athanasius ..... 237 

Prayer of Saint Anselm ...... 238 

Prayer of Saint Peter Dataian . . .239 

Prayer of William of Paris . .239 

Prayer to be said to the most Blessed Virgin every day aiter Tsftfaig her . MO 

PAET n. 

DisoouBSE I. — On Ma/ry's Immaculate Conception, 

fiow becoming it was that each of tite Three Divine Pcnou ikoold 

preserve Mary from Original Sin ... . 24S 

DISCOUBSE n. — On the Sirth ofMwry, 

Mary watf bom a Saint, and a great Saint; for the erace witii which God 
«Biiohed her firam ihe beginning was .grM^and ue fidelity >rtth iHuoh 
she immediately corresponded wittih ii waa great . . M9 




PIBC0UB3S UI. — 0» the FresenMiam ofMa/ry, 

ne Offerm||[ that Mary made of herself to God was prompt, without delay, 
aad entire without resenre ..... 

DisoOUitSE rV. — On the Annwnciaiion of Mary. 

At the Incamatkni of the Eternal Word, MaiV eould not have hnmbled 
herself more than she did humble herself God, on the other hand, 
ooold not have exalted her more than He did ezaU her . 399 

DiscoUBSB V. — On the VisitaHon ofMcvry. 

Mwj is the Treasurer of all Divine Ghraces : therefore, whoever desires 
Graces, must have recourse to Mary ; and he who has recourse to Mary 
may be certain of obtaining the Graces he desires . . S19 

DiSCOUBSB yi. — €>fthe FwriflcaUon of Mary, 

it Sacrifice which Maiy made on this day to God, in ofiFering Him 
life of her Son ...... 335 

DiscoUBSE YII. — On the Assumption of Mary, 

On this day the Church celebrates, in honour of Mary, two solemn remem- 
brances; the one is that of her happy passage from this world; the 
other, that of her glorious Assumption into Heaven . S4S 

DiSGOUBSE Vlll. — Second Discourse on the Afsumption of Mary. 

1st. Howebrious was the triumph of Mary when she ascended to heaven ! 
2d. mm exalted was the throne to wmch she was elevated in heaven ! 364 

DisooiTBSx IX — Of the Dolours of Mary. 

Mary was the Queen of Martyrs, for her martyrdom was longer and greater 
than that of an the Mar<7Ts ..... 977 


IK fabucvlab. 

FixsT DoLOUs. — Of Saint Simeon's Prophecy . 8SS 

Sbcoitd Bolous.— Of the Flight of Jesus into Egypt . . 399 

Thud Doloxtb. — Of the loss of Jesus in the Temple . . . 404 

FoDXTH DoLOUK. — Ou the meeting of Mary wiui Jesus, when He was 

going to Death ...... 410 

FuTH DoLOUK.— Of the death of Jesus .... 415 

Sixth Doloub. — ^The Piercing of the Side of Jesus, and His descent from 

the Cross ....... 422 

ScvxKTH DOLOUK.— The Burial of Jesus .... 428 



SscTioii I. — Of tlie Hmnility of Maiy 

Sectioh II —Of Mary's ChariW towarda God 

SscTiON IU.,->Of MaiVs Clpnty towvdi hn HeiAb^vr 

SscnoN lY.— Of Harr'a FaiUi 

Section V.— Of Mary^a Hope 

Section YL— Of Maxy'a Chaatlty . 

Section YIL— Of Mary's Porerly - 

Section YIIL— Of Mary's Obedjcnee 

Section DL— Of Mary's Tnseaee . 

Section X.— Of Mary's Prayer 





FasT Devotion.— Of tlic Hafl Mary ... 475 

Second Detotion. — Of Noireiias .... 476 

Xhied Detotion.— Of the Bosary and Offiee off our BleMod Lady . 478 

FbuBTH Devotion.— Of Fasting .... 481 

FnTH Devotion.— Of visitiDgtiie Images of Mary . 483 

Sixth Devotion. — OftheSk^nla .... 486 

Seventh Devotion.— Of joining Confiratemitiea of onr Blessed La^ . 486 

XiQHTH Devotion. — Of AJbna gnren in Mary's honour . 490 

Ninth Devotion. — Of having frequent recourse to Mary • 481 
Tenth Devotion. — In this tenth, and last Devotion, I unite sefcnl Dero- 

tuna whidimay be practised in hmurar of Mary . . 498 

Conclusion ....... 485 

PAET m. 

Yariooa additional Examples appertaining to the Most Blessed Yirgin 
Mary ...... 499 

Reply to an ANONTKora Wbites, who has censored what the Author of 
this Work has said, in the First Section of Uie Fifth Chapter, on the 
SahreBegina .684 

Reply to the Extrava^t Befbrm attenipted hy the Abb6 BoDi, a Refimn 
which is in oppoaition to the devotion and lore we imt to the Divine 
Mother .641 

aemumfortheFeastofthe Anmmciation of the Blessed Yirgin Mary . 648 
Sermon on the Doloors of Mary ..... 668 

Sermon for the Feast of Saint Joseph .566 

Norena of Meditations ...... 677 

Pravers to the Divine Mother for every day in the Week . 604 

UtUe Bosary of the Seven Dolonxs of Maiy . .611 

little Bosary of Mary Immaculate ..... 616 

Dedications and Prayers ...... 616 



3tsm wxa iWlars. 

fltlVY most loving Eedeemer and Lord Jesus Christ, I, 
f*^ thy miserable servant, well knowing what pleasure he 
gives Thee who endeavours to exalt thy most holy Mother, 
whom Thou lovest so much ; knowing, too, how much 
Thou desirest to see her loved and honoured by all, 
have determined to publish tliis work of mine, which 
treats of her glories. I know not, however, to whom I 
could better recommend it than to Thee, who hast her 
glory so much at heart. To Thee, therefore, do I dedi- 
cate and commend it. Accept this little homage of the 
love I bear Thee and thy beloved Mother. Do Thou pro- 
tect it, by showering down on all who read it the light of 
confidence and flames of love towards this Immaculate 
Virgin, in whom Thou hast placed the hope and whom 
Thou hast made the refuge of all the redeemed. And as a 
reward for my poor labom*, grant me, I beseech Thee, 
that love towards Mary which, by the means of this book, 
I desire to see enkindled in all who read it. 

And now I turn to thee, O my most sweet Lady and 
Mother Mary. Thou well knowest that, after Jesus, I 
have placed my entire hope of salvation in thee : for I ac- 
knowledge that everything good — my conversion, my call 
to renounce the world, and all the other graces that I have 
received from God — all were given me through thy means. 
Thou knowest that in order to see thee loved by all as 
thou deservest, and also as some mark of gratitude for 
the many benefits thou hast conferred iipon me, I have 




always endeavouretl in my aermona, in public and in pri- 
vate, to insinuate into ijl thy sweet and salutary devo- 
tion. I hope to continue doing so until my last breath, 
but my advanced years and feeble health admonish me 
that I am near the end of my pilgriaiage and my entry 
into eternity ; and therefore I wish, before dying, to leave 
this book to the world, in order that in my place it may 
continue to preach thee, and encourage others to announce 
thy glories, and the tender compassion thou showeet to 
thy clients. I trust, my most beloved Queen, that this 
little gift, which is one of love, though far beneath thy 
merits, will yet be acceptable to thy most gracious heart. 
Extend, then, that most sweet hand with which thou hBst 
drawn me from the world and delivered mc from heU, and 
accept it and protect it as thine own. But at the same 
time thon must know that I expect a reward for my little 
offerii^ ; and that is, that from this day forward I may 
love thee more than ever, and that every one into whose 
hands this work may fall may at once be inflamed with 
■ love of thee ; and that his desire of loving thee, and of 
seeing thee loved by others, may be increased, so that he 
may labour with all affection to preach and promote, as 
far as he can, thy praises, and confidence in thy most 
powerful intercession. Amen. 

Thy moat loving though vile servant, 



TN ordei that my present woik may not be condemned 
i by the over-critical, I think it well to explain certain 
propositions thafc will be found in it, and which may seem 
hazardons, or perhaps obscure. I have noticed some, 
and should others attract yonr attention, charitable reader, 
I beg that you will understand them according to the 
rules of soond theology and the doctrine of the holy 
Boman Catholic Church, of which I declare myself a most 
obedient son. In the Introduction, at page 7, referring 
to the sixth chapter of this work, I say that it is the will 
of God that all graces should come to us by the hands of 
Mary. N^ow, this is indeed a most cofisoling truth for 
souls tmiderly devoted to our most Blessed Lady, and for 
poor sinners who wish to repent. Nor should this opinion 
be looked upon as contrary to sound doctrine, since the 
father of theology, St. Augustine,^ in common with most 
writers, says, that Mary cooperated by her charity in 
the spiritual birth of ail members of the Church. A cele- 
brate writer, and one who cannot be accused of exagge- 
ration or of misguided devotion, says,^ Uhat it was, 
properly speaking, on Mount Calvary that Jesus formed 
His Church I and then it is evident that the Blessed 
Yii^in cooperated in a most excellent and especial manner 
in the acoomplishment of this work. And in the same 
way it can be said, that though she brought forth the 
Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, without pain, she did 
not bring forth the body of this Head without very great 
suffering ; .and so it was on Mount Calvary that Mary 
began, in an especial manner, to be the Mother of the whole 
Cbureh. And now, to say all in a few words : God, to 

^ Mater quidem Bpirita, non capitis nostri, quod est ipse Salvator, ex quo magis 
ilia apiritaliter nata est ; quia omnes, qui in earn crediderint, in qoibus et ipsa est, 
recte filii sponsi appellanbur; sed plane mater membrorum ejus (quod nos somus), 
quia coopefata est charitate, ut fiaeles in ecclesia nascerentur, quee illius capitis 
nuJknbra sunt. — lAb. de Sancta Vtrginitate, cap. vi. 

> Mons. Nicole, Istrozioni teologiche e morali aopra VOrazione Domenicale, 
Salntazioae Angelica, Sec. Istnudone S, c. 9. 

4 TO TU£ B£AD£B. 

glorify the Mother of the Redeemer, has so determined 
and disposed, that of her great charity she should intercede 
in behalf of all those for whom His Divine Son paid and 
offered the superabundant price of His precious blood, in 
which alone " is our salvation, life, and resurrection." On 
this doctrine, and on all that is in accordance with it, I 
ground my propositions^ — ^propositions which the Saints 
have not feared to assert in their tender colloquies with 
Mary, and fervent discourses in her honour. Hence St. 
Sophronius says, that * the plenitude of all grace which is 
in Christ came into Mary though in a different way ; ' ^ 
meaning that the plenitude of grace was in Christ, as 
the Head from which it flows, as from its source ; and in 
Mary, as in the neck through which it flows. This 
opinion is clearly confirmed and taught by the angelical 
Doctor, St. Thomas, who says : * Of the three ways in 
which the Blessed Virgin is full of grace, the third is that 
she is so for its transfusion into all men ;' and then he 
adds : * This plenitude is great in any Saint when there 
is as much grace as would suffice for the salvation of 
many, but it is in its highest degree when there is as 
mi^ch as would suffice for the salvation of the world ; and 
it was in this degree in Christ and in the Blessed Virgin : 
for in aU dangers thou canst obtain salvation of this glori* 
ous Virgin ; and therefore it is said in the sacred Canticles, 
that " a thousand bucklers," that is to say, means of pro- 
tection against dangers, " hang upon it." Also, in every 
work of virtue thou canst have her for thy helper, for she 
says, in the words of Ecclesiastes, " In me is all hope of 
life and virtue.' " 

»> >; 

1 In Chapters vi, vii, viii, xi. 

' In Manam vero totius gratiae, qiue in Christo est plenitudo venit, qaamquam 
aliter. — ^Int. op. S. Hieron. Sent, de Assump. B. V. 

* Dicitor autem beata Virgo plena sratiae, quantum ad tria . . . Tertio, quantum 
ad refusionem in omnes homines. Macnum enim est in quolibet sancto, qnando 
habet tantum de gratia, quod sufficit aa salutem multorum : sed quando haberet 
tantum, quod sumceret ad salutem omnium hominum de mundo, hoc esset maxi- 
mum, et noc est in Christo, et in Beata Virgine. Nam in omni periculo potes 
■alutein obtinere ab ipsa Virgine gloriosa. tfnde Cantieorum iv " mille elypei " 
id est remedia contra pericula " pendent exea." Item, in omni opere vututis 
potes earn habere in adjutiorum, et ideo dlcit ipsa £cclesiastici xxiv, " In me 
Omnis spes vitie et virtutis." — Bxp. svp. Saint. Awj. Optisc. 8. 


fjlJiT beloved reader and brother in IVIary. Siuiee the 
4f*F> devotion that led me to write, and isioves you to read» 
tlii^ bopk» makes us happy children oi the same good 
Mother, should you hear it, remaxked that I might have 
spared myself the laboui*, as there are already so many 
(^ebrated. and learned works on the saine subject, I beg 
thai you will reply, in the words of the Abbot Erancone, 
that ' the praise of Mary is an inexhaustible fount, the more 
it is enlarged the fuller it gets, and the more you fill it so 
much the more is it enlarged.' ^ In short, thU Blessed 
Yirg^ is so great and sublime, that the more she is praised 
the more there remains to praise; so much so, saya 
an ancient writer ' that if all the tongues of men were put 
together, and even if each of their members was changed 
into a tongue, they would not suffice to praise her as 
much as she deserves. '^ 

I have seen innumerable works, of all si^aes, which treat 
of the glories of Mary, but finding that they were either 
rare, voluminous, or did not answer the object I had in view, 
I endeavoured to collect, from as many authors as I could 
lay my hands on, the choicest passages, extracted from 
Fathers and Theologians ; and those which seemed to me 
to be the most to the point, and have put them together 
in this book, in order that the devout may mth little 
trouble aad expense be able to inflame themselves With 
the love of Mary, and more particularly to furnish priests 
with matter for their sermons, wherewith to excite others 
to devotion towards this Divine Mother. 

1 IaU6 Maritt; fons est uideficicns, qui quanio longlus extenditnr, tanto anrplna 
iaipIctuT; et quanto aiuplixus inipletur, tanto latiua diM&tar.—De ^rat. lib.vii. 

* tASmnai Gnmiain nostrum lucnibra vci'tcreutui' in Iiitg;ua8, earn laudaxe fiu£ft- 
ceret nulltis, — Int. Op, St. Ann. : in App. t(vm. v. 

1 § 


Worldly lovers often speak of and praise those whom 
they love, in order that the object of their aifections may- 
be praised and extolled by others. There are some who 
pretend to be lovers of Mary, and yet seldom either speak 
of or endeavour to excite others to love her; their love 
cannot be great. It is not thns that true lovers of this 
amiable Lady act ; they desire to praise her on all occa- 
sions, and to see her loved by the whole world, and never 
lose an opportunity, either in public or private, of en- 
kindling in the hearts of others those blessed flames of 
love with which they themselves bum towards their 
beloved Queen. 

That every one may be persuaded how important it is, 
both for his own good and that of others, to promote 
devotion towards Mary, it is useful to know what Theolo- 
gians say on the subject. St. Bonaventure says, ' that those 
who make a point of announcing to others the glories of 
Mary, are certain of heaven ;' and this opinion is confirmed 
by llichard of St. Lawrence, who declares, * that to honour 
this Queen of Angels is to gain eternal life ; ' ^ and he adds 

* that this most gracious Lady will honour in the next 
world those who honour her in this;'^ and who is 
ignorant of the promise made by Mary herself, in the 
words of Ecclesiastes, to those who endeavom* to make 
her known and loved here below, " they that explain me 
shall have life everlasting ;" ^ for this passage is applied 
to her by the Church, in the office for the Immaculate 
Conception. * Eejoice then,' exclaims St. Bonaventure, 
(who did so much to make the glories of Maiy known) 

* rejoice, my soul, and be glad in her ; for many good 
things are prepared for those who praise her ; ' and he says 
that * the whole of the Sacred Scriptures speak in praise of 
Mary,'* let us therefore always with our hearts and tongues 

1 Honorare siquidemMariani, thesaurizare eat sibi vitam eetemam.— Dtf Laud. K 

^ Glorificabit in future servientes sibi et honorificantes se in prsesenti. — lb. 
3 Qui elucidant me, vitam fieternam habcbuut. — Eccl. xxiv, 31. 
* Exulta, aninia mea, et Isetare in ilia, quia multa bona sunt laudatoribus 
pnei arata. In J*s. xliii, B. V. Omnes scripturte Icquuntur dc ca. Serm. 13, in Hex. 


honour this Divine Mother, in order that we may be 
conducted by her into the kingdom of the blessed. 

We learn, from the revelations of St. Bridget, that the 
blessed Bishop Emingo was in the habit of always begin- 
ning his sermons with the praises of Mary. One day the 
Blessed Virgin herself appeared to the Saint, and desired 
her to tell him, that in consequence of liis pious practice, 
'she would be his mother, that he would die a holy 
death, and that she would herself present his soul to God;' ^ 
he died like a Saint in the act of praying, and in the 
most heavenly peace. Mary also appeared to a Dominican 
friar, who always concluded his sermons by speaking of 
her ; when on his deathbed this Blessed Virgin defended 
him from the devils, consoled him, and then she herself 
carried off his happy soul.^ The devout Thomas a Kempis 
represents us Mary recommending a soul who had honoured 
her to her Son, and saying, * my most loving ISon, have 
m^ry on the soul of this sen^ant of Thine, who loved aiul 
extolled me.'*^ 

Next, as to the advantage of this devotion ; to all 
St. Anselm says, that as the most sacred womb of j\Iary 
was the means of salvation for sinners, the heaiing of her 
praises must necessarily convert them, and thus also be a 
means of their salvation ; * how can it be otherwise than 
that the solvation of sinners should come from the re- 
membrance of her praises, whose womb was made the 
way through which the Saviour came to save sinners.' * 

ATid if the opinion is true, and I consider it as indu- 
bitably so (as I shall show in the sixth Chapter), that all 
graces are dispensed by Mary, and that all who are saved 
are saved only by the means of this Divine Mother, it is 
a necessary consequence that the salvation of all depends 
upon preaching Mary, and exciting all to confidence in 

1 Revel, lib. iii, cap. xiii. » Ap P. Amieiu. 

* fill, mianiantissinie miserere animoe f^uli tui omatoris et laudatoris mci. — 
Part 3, Serm. 2, ad. Nov. 

* Qoomodo iieri potest, ut ex memoria laudum c^iis salus nou proveniat pecca- 
torom, duns uterus factus est vjo ad sanandum pcccatores venienti Salmtori '^ 
—5, JfiS. de JBxe. V, cap. 1, 


her intercession. It is well known that it was thva that 
St. Bemardine of Sienna, sanctified Italy, and that St« 
Dominic eonverted so many provinces. St. Louis Bertrand 
never omitted in his sermons to exhort all to love Mary ; 
and how many others hare done the same P 

I iind that Father Paul Segneri, the yomiger, who was 
a very celebrated missioner, in every mission {^reached a 
sermon on devotion to Mar\', and always csdled it his 
beloved sermon. And in our own missions in whidi it ifi 
an inviolable rule to do the same, we can attest, with all 
truth^ that in most cases no sermon is more profitable, or 
produces so much compunction in the hearts of the people, 
as the one on the mercy of Maiy. I say, on her mercy, 
for, in the words of St. Bernard, * we praise her virginity, 
we admire her humility ; but because we are poor sinnerSj 
mercy attracts us more and tastes sweeter ; we embrace 
mercy more lovingly ; we remember it oftener, and invoke 
it more earnestly ;' ^ and for this reason I here leave other 
authors to describe the other prerogatives of Mary, and 
confine myself for the most part to that of her mercy and 
powerful intercession ; having collected, as far as I was able, 
and with the labour of many years, all that the holy 
Fathers and the most celebrated ^vriters have said on this 
subject ; and as I find that the mercy and power of the 
most Blessed Yirgin are admirably portrayed in the prayer 
' Salve Kegina,' the recital of which is made obligatory for 
the greater part of the year on aU the clergy, secular and 
regular, I shall divide and explain this most devout prayer 
in separate chapters. In addition to this, I thought that 
I should be giving pleasure to Mary's devout clients, by 
adding discourses on the principal festivals and virtues of 
this Divine Mother, and by placing at the end of the work 
the devotions and pious practices most used by her ser- 
vants, and most approved of by the Church. 

Devout reader, should this work, as I trust it wiU, prove 

^ Landnmus virginitatem, humilitatein miramur; sed mlseris sapit dnlcius 
niisericordia; misericordiam amplectimur carius, recoi'damur 8a?piiiB, crebrius 
invocamus. — Senn. 4, de Ass. 


acceptable to you, I beg that you will recommend me to 
the Blessed Virgin, that she may give me great confidence 
in her protection. Ask this grace for me, and I promise 
you, whoever you may be, that I will ask the same for you 
who do me this charity. Oh, blessed are they who bind 
themselves with love and confidence to these two anchors 
of salvation, Jesus and Mary ! Certainly they will not be 
lost. Let us then both say, devout reader, with the pious 
Alphonsus Eodriguez, 'Jesus and Mary, my most sweet 
loves, for you may I sulGfer, for you may I die ; grant that 
I may be in all tlungs yours and in nothing mine.** Let 
us love Jesus and Mary, and become Saints ; we can neither 
expect nor hope anything better. Farewell then, until we 
meet in Paradise, at the feet of this most sweet Mother 
and of this most loving Son ; there to praise them, to 
love them face to face, for all eternity. Ainen. 

^rager to tfje Bleisgelr Uirgin, 


Maky, sweet refuge of miserable sinners, when my 
soul is on the point of leaving this world, oh my most 
sweet Mother, by that sorrow which thou didst endure 
when assisting at the death of thy Son on the cross, 
assist me vnih thy mercy. Drive the infernal enemy far 
from me, and do thou come and take my soul to thyself, 
and present it to the eternal Judge. My Queen, abandon 
me not. Thou, after Jesus, hast to be my Qomfort in that 
terrible moment. Entreat thy beloved Son, in His good- 
ness, to grant me the grace to die, clinging to thy feet, 
and to breathe forth my soul in His wounds, saying, 
Jesus, and Mary, I give you my heart and my soul. 

^ Jesn, et Maria, amo^ mei dnlcissimi, pro vobis patiar, pro vobU moriar ; 
im totua TesteTi aim nihil meus. — Ajt. Auriem. Aff, sc. 









Section I. — How greai should be our confidence in Maryt 

who is the Queen qf Mercy, 

XS the glorious Virgin Mary has been raised to the 
d^nity of Mother of the King of kings, it is not with- 
out reason that the Church honours her, and wishes her to 
be hmiotited by all, with the glorious title of Queen. • If 
the Son is a King,' says an ancient writer, * the Mother 
who begot him is rightly alid truly considered a Queen 
and Sovetdgn.' * * No sooner had Mary,* says St. Ber- 
nardine, of Sienna, 'consented to be Mother of the 
eternal Word, than she merited by this consent to be 
made Queen of the world and of all creatures.' 2 » Since 

} Siqiudem is ipse qui ex Vir^ne natus est, rex est, et ipse Domintts Dens. 
Ijusqiae patia, que ipsum gdnuit, Begina, Domina, et Deipara proprie ae vere 
prcdicatnr. — Serm. de Deip. int. op. S. Athan. 

•Hsc antem YirKo in ulo adBuiwido CMseosn meniit domiuinm et primattim 
totins orbiB.^Tam. it, 90. 


the flesh of Mary,' remarks the Abbot Arnold of Chartres, 

* was not different from that of Jesus, how can the royal 
dignity of the Son be denied to the Mother/ ^ * Hence 
we must consider the glory of the Son, not only as being 
common to, but as one with, that of His mother.* ^ 

And if Jesus is the King of the universe, Mary is also 
its Queen. *And as Queen,' says the Abbot Rupert, 

* she poss^es, by right, the whole kingdom of her Son."-^ 
Hence St!^emardine, of Sienna, concludes that * as many 
creatures as there are who serve God, so many there 
are who serve Mary: for as angels and men, and all 
things that are in heaven and on earth, are subject to 
the empire of God, so are they also under the dominion of 
Mary.' * The Abbot Guarricus, addressing himself to the 
Divine Mother, on this subject, says : * continue, Mary, 
continue to dispose with confidence of the riches of thy 
Son ; act as Queen, Mother, and Spouse of the King : for 
to thee belongs dominion and power over all creatures.' ^ 

Mary then is a Queen : but, for our common consola- 
tion, be it known, that she is a Queen so sweet, clement, 
and so ready to help us in our miseries, that the holy 
Church wills that we should salute her in this prayer 
under the title of Queen of Mercy. * The title of 
Queen,' remarks B. Albert the Great, * differs from that 
of Empress, which implies severity and rigour, in signify- 
ing compassion, and charity towards the poor.' 'The 
greatness of kings and queens,' says Seneca, * consists in 
relieving the wretched \ " and whereas tyrants, when they 
reign, have their own good in view, longs should have 
that of their subjects at heart. For this reason it is that, 

1 Nee a dominatione et potestate filii Mater potest esae sejuncia. Una est 
Mariee et Christi caro. — De Laud. Vxrg. 
' Filii gloriam com Matre non tam oommiinem jitdioo, quam eamdem. — Ih. 

* Pnemcabitur de te quod sia . . . . Regina coBknmm totum jure poiaideas Pilii 
regnum.— /n CoMt. 1. 8. 

* Tot creaturse serviunt gloriosee Virginia quot serriunt Trinitati; omnes nam- 
que creaturae, sive ahgeli sive homines, et omnia que snnt in coelo et in terra, 
quie (mmia snnt divino imperio subjngata, gloriosee Virgin! sunt subjeetse.— 
Tom. iv, Serm. 5, de B. V., c. 6. 

* Perge, Maria, perge secnra in bonis filii tui, fiducialiter age tamqnam Kegina, 
Mater re^ et sponsa; tibi debetur regnum et potestas.^^iS'cmi. S, in Ass, JB.M. 

> Hoc reges habent magnificum, pn^esse miseris. 

^Allp aOLX QVI^^Ni MOTHER Oi* M£B(CY. . 13 

at^thejk Qousecratioa, kings kave their heacb aiioiufekl wiili 
oil^^wiucli is the svinbol of lujcrcy, to denote tliat, as kings, 
tiiey should, above all things, nouxish ia their hearta feel- 
ings' of compassion and benevolence towards their subjects. 

Kings should then occupy themselves prineipaliy . in 
works of mercy, but not so as to forget the just pmiish- 
ihents that are to be inflicted on the guilty. It is lK>wevev 
not thus with Maiy, who, although a Queen, is not a queen 
of justice, intent on the punishment of the witked, but a 
queen of mercy, intent only on commiserating and pardon- 
ing sinners. And this is the reason for which the Church 
requu*es that we should expressly call her * the Queen of 
Mercy.* The gi'eat Chancellor of Paris, John Gerson, in 
his Commentary on the words of David; "These two 
things have I heard, that power belongeth to God, and 
mercy to Thee, Lord,"i says, that the kingdom of 
God, consisting in justice and mercy, was divided by our 
Lord : the kingdom of justice He reserved for Himself, 
and that of mercy He yielded to Mary, ordaining, at the 
same time, that all mercies that are dispensed to. njen, 
should pass by the hands of Maiy, and be disposed of by 
her at will. These are Gerson's own words : * the king- 
dom of God consists in power and mercy; reserving 
power to Himself, He, in some way, yielded the empire of 
mercy to His mother.' 2 This is confirmed by St. Thomas, 
in his Preface to the Canonical Epistles, saying, *that 
when the Blessed Virgin conceived the Eternal Word in 
her womb, and brought Him forth, she obtained half the 
kingdom of God ; so that she is Queen of Mercy, as Jesus 
Chnst is King of Justice.' ^ 

The Etemd Father made Jesus Christ the King of Jus- 
tice, and consequently miiversal Judge of the world : and 

1 Bno hsec andiri, quia potestas Dei est, et tibi Domine miscricordia.— Pj. hi, 

* Begnum Dei conBistit in potestate et nnserieordin : potcstatc Donu'uo ronn- 
sente, cesait quodammodo nusericordiee pan Cliristi Matri sponssoquc rc>;uiuiti. 
—P. S, Tr. 4, *. Magnif. 

* (^nando filiiim Da in utero concepit, et postmodum peperit, dinudiani p:»rtcni 
regni Dei impetiavit, ut ipsa sit Re^nn misericordite, vX Christua est Ikx 
Jvirtitift. t 



therefore the royal Prophet sings : " Give to the King Thy 
judgment, O God : and to the King's Son Thy justice." i 
Here a learned interpreter takes up the sentence, and says : 
'O Lord, Thou hast given justice to Thy Son, because 
Thou hast given mercy to the King's Mother ; ' and, on 
this subject, St. Bonaventure, paraphrasing the words of 
David, thus interprets them : 'Give to the King Thy judg- 
ment, O God : and Thy mercy to the Queen His Mother.' ^ 
Ernest, Archbishop of Prague, also remarks, * that the 
Eternal Father gave the office of judge and avenger to the 
Son, and that of showing mercy and relieving the neces- 
sitous to the Mother.' ^ This was foretold by the prophet 
David himself, for he says that God (so to speak) con- 
secrated Mary Queen of Mercy, anointing her mth the oil 
of gladness : (" God hath anointed thee with the oil of 
gladness ")* In order that we miserable children of Adam 
might rejoice, remembering that in heaven we have this 
great Queen, overflowing with the unction of mercy and 
compassion towards us ; and thus we can say with St. 
Bonaventure, *0 Maiy, thou ai-t fidl of the unction of 
mercy and of the oil of compassion,' ^ therefore God has 
anointed thee with the oil of gladness. And how beau- 
tiftOly does not B. Albert the Great apply to this subject 
the history of Queen Esther, who was herself a great type 
of our Queen IVIary. We read, in the 4th chapter of the 
Book of Esther, that in the reign of Assuerus, a decree 
was issued, by which aU Jews were condemned to death. 
Mardochai, who was one of the condemned, addressed him- 
self to Esther, in order that she might interpose with 
Assuerus, and obtain the revocation of the decree, and 
thus be the salvation of all. At first Esther declined the 
office, fearing that such a request might irritate the king 
still more ; but Mardochai reproved her, sending her word 


* Dens judicium tuum Rcgi da, et justitiam tuam Alio Regis.— P*. Ixxi, 2. 

^ Deus judicium tuum Regi do, et misericoi'diam tuam Hegiuee Matri ejus.— 
In Ps. Ixii, de B. V. 
» Pater omne judicium dedit Filio, et omne officium misericordiffi dedit Matri.t 

* Unxit te Deus oleo Isetitiic. — Fs. xliv, 8. 

* Maria plena est unctionc misericordia} et oleo pioX^ivi.^ B. M. Virff, 
lect. 7. 


that she was not to think only of saving herself, for God 
had placed her on the throne to obtain the salvation of all 
the Jews : " think not that thou mayst save thy life only, 
because thou art in the king's house, more than aU the 
Jews." 1 Thus did Mardochai address queen Esther ; and 
so can we poor sinners addi'ess our Queen Mary : should 
she show any repugnance to obtain of God our delivery 
from the chastisement we have justly deserved. Think 
not that thou mayst save thy life only, because thou art in 
the king's house, more than all men. Think not, O Lady, 
that God has raised thee to the dignity of Queen of the 
world, only to provide for thy good ; but in order that, 
being so great, thou mightest be better able to compas- 
sionate and assist us miserable creatures. 

As soon as Assuerus saw Esther standing before him, 
»he asked her, with love, what she came to seek. " What 
is thy request?" The queen replied, "If I have found 
favour in thy sight, O King, give me my people, for which 
I request."/^ Asseurus granted her request, and imme- 
diately ordered the revocation of the decree. And now, if 
Assuerus, through love for Esther, granted, at her request, 
salvation to the Jews, how can God refuse the prayers of 
Mary, loving her immensely as He does, when she prays 
for poor miserable sinners, who recommend themselves to 
her, and says to Him, * My King and my God, if ever I 
have found favour in thy sight, (though the Divine Mother 
well knows that she was the blessed, the holy one, the 
only one of the human race who found the grace lost by all 
mankind ; weU does she know that she is the beloved one 
of her Lord, loved tnore than all the saints and angels 
together) : " give me my people for which I ask." If thou 
lovest me, she says, ' give me, O Lord, these sinners, for 
whom I entreat Thee.' Is it possible that God should 
refuse her? And who is ignorant of the power of the 
prayers of Mary with God ? " The law of clemency is on 

1 Nc putcs, quod animam tuam tantom libcrcs, quia in domo Regis cs pne 
cunctis Judffiis. — £st. iv. 13. 

* Quse est petitio tua . . . doua xuilii . . . popuhun meum pro quo obsecro. — 
Eitk. c.\\i,%X 


her tongue." * Each of her prayers is, as it were, an estab- 
lished law for our Lord, that he should show mercy to all 
for whom she intercedes. St. Bernard asks why the 
Church calls Mary * the Queen of Mercy ?' And he replies, 
that *it is because we believe that she opens the abyss 
of the mercy of God, to whomsoever she wills, when she 
wills, and as she 'Nvills, so that there is no sinner, however 
great, who is lost if Mary protects him.' ^ 

But perhaps we may fear that Mary would not deign to 
interpose for some sinners, on account of their being so 
overloaded with crimes ? Or perhaps we ought to be over- 
awed at the majesty and holiness of this great Queen ? * No,* 
says St. Gregory the Seventh, * for the higher and more 
holy she is, the greater is her sweetness and compassion to- 
wards sinners, who have recourse to her with the desire to 
amend their lives.' ^ Kings and queens, with their osten- 
tation of majesty, inspire terror, and cause their subjects 
to fear to approach them : biit what fear, says St. Bernard, 
can the miserable have to approach this Queen of Mercy, 
for she inspires no terror, and shows no severity, to those 
who come to her; but is all sweetness and gentleness. 
' Why shoidd human frailty fear to go to Mary ? In her 
there is no austerity, nothing terrible : she is all sweetness, 
offering milk and wool to all.' * Mary is not only willing 
to give, but she herself offers milk and wool to aU : the 
milk of mercy to animate our confidence, and the wool of 
her protection against the thunderbolts of Divine justice. 

Suetonius relates of the Emperor Titus, that he could 
never refuse a favom*, so much so that he sometimes pro- 
mised more than he could grant, and when admonished of 
this he replied, that a prince should never send away any 
person whom he admitted to his audience dissatisfied. 

1 Lex cleraentiaj in lingua ejus.— Pror. xxxi, 20. 

* Quod divinaj pietatis abyssum cui vult, quando Tult, et quomodo vult, credi- 
tur aperire ; ut quivia cuoruns peccator non pereat, cui Sancta sanctorum, pa- 
trocinii sui suiFragia prsestat. — S. Bern, in Salve Rep. 

s Maria quanio altior et sanctior, tanto clementior et dttlcior circa conversos 
peccatores. — Lib. i, Ep. 47. 

* Quid ad Manapi accedere trepidet liumana fragilitas ? Nihil austerum in ea, 
nihil teiTibile ; tota suavis est, omnibus offereiis lac et hmani. — Sitfer Sign. Ma^n, 


Titus spoke thus, but in reality he mu3t often have de- 
ceived or failed in his promises. Our Queen cannot 
deceive, and can obtain all that she wills for her clients. 
IMoreover, * our Lord has given her so benign and com- 
passionate a heart/ says Lanspergius, *that she cannot 
send away any one dissatisfied, who prays to her.' ^ But 
how, to use the words of St. Bonaventure, canst thou, O 
Mary, who art the Queen of Mercy, refuse to succour the 
miserable ? And 'who,' asks the Saint *are the subjects for 
mercy, if not the miserable ? And since thou art the Queen 
of Mercy,' he continues, ' and I am the most miserable of 
sinners, it follows that I am the first of thy subjects. 
How, then, Lady, canst thou do otherwise than exercise 
thy mercy on me ? ' ^ 

Have pity on us then, Queen of Mercy, and take 
charge of oui salvation. * Say not, O holy Virgin ! ' exclaims 
St. George of Nicomedia, that thou canst not assist us, 
on account of the number of our sins, * for thy power and 
compassion is such, that no number of sins, however great, 
can outweigh it. Nothing resists thy power, for our com- 
mon Creator, honouring thee as His mother, considering 
thy glory as His own;'^ and the Son, * exulting in it, 
fulfils thy petitions as if He were paying a debt;'* mean- 
ing thereby, that although Mary is under an infinite obK- 
gation to the Son for having chosen her to be His mother, 
yet it cannot be denied but that the Son is under great 
obligation to her for having given Him His humanity; 
and therefore Jesus, to pay as it were what He owes to 
Mary, and glorying in her glory, honours her in a special 
manner by listening to and granting all her petitions. 

1 Adeo fed earn . . . benignam nt neminem a se redire tristem sinat. — Op. IHm. 
Ul). i ; Mloq. cun. 12. 

' Tu es Be'^ina luisericordiae, ct qui mi&ericordiffi, subditi msi miseri ? Sed 
Begina misencordue es, et ego iniBcnunus peccalorum, subditorum maximns. 
Quoniodo ergo Boniina non exercebis in memetipsuni tunc niiserationia eifectum. 
— Stim. Am. p. 3 ; in Sah. Beg. 

s Habes insuperabileiu potentiam ; habes vim inexpugnabilem. Ne rogo mnlta 
nostra peccata, uumcusam tuse mi»«rHtioni& vim supcrent . . . Nihil enim resistit 
tutE potentise .... quippe suam llUufl tans, tiiam cxistimat gloriam. — Or de 
hujreisu B. V. 

* Eaqnc tannirnu I'ilias exiiKans, postulata ceu debitor implet.— /ft. 



How great then shonld be onr confidenee in this Qaeeu, 
knowing her great power with God, and that she is so 
rich and ftdl of mercy, that taere is no one li\'ing on the 
earth, who does not partake of her compassion and favour. 
This was rereakd by our Blessed Lady herself to St. 
Bridget, saying, *I am the Queen of hearen and the 
Mother of mercy ; I am the joy of the just, and the door 
through which sinners are brought to God. There is no 
sinner on earth so accursed as to be deprived of my mercy, 
for all, if they receive nothing else tlirough my interces- 
sion, receive the grace of being less tempted by the devils 
than they would otherwise have been ; ' ^ * No one,' she 
adds, 'unless the irrevocable sentence has been pro- 
nounced ' (that is the oue pronounced on the damned,) * is 
so cast off by God, that he will not return to Him, and 
enjoy His mercy, if he invokes my aid/ - * I am called by 
all the Mother of Mercy, and truly the mercy of my Son 
towards men has made me thus merciful towards them;*' 
and she concludes by saying, * and therefore miserable will 
he be, and miserable will he be to all eternity, who, in this 
life, having it in his power to invoke me, who am so com- 
passionate to all, and so desirous to assist sinners, is 
miserable enough not to invoke me, and so is damned.' * 

Let us then fly, and fly always to the feet of this most 
sweet Queen, if we would be certain of salvation ; and if 
we are alarmed and disheartened at the sight of our sins, 
let us remember, that it is in order to save the greatest 
and most abandoned sinners, who recommend themselves 
to her, that Mary is made the Queen of Mercy. Such 
have to be her crown in heaven, according to the words 
addressed to her by her Divine spouse : "come fromLibanus, 

1 Ego Rcgina cccli, ego muter miaericordiae : ego justonim gandium, et afditus 
peccatoram ad Deuui. >^ullas est adeo maledictus, qui quamdiu virit careat 
miserioordia mea; quia propter me levins tentator a dcemonibiis, quam alias 
tentaretor. — Rer. lib. vi, cap. 10. 

* ^k'uUus ita ulicnutus est de Bco, nisi omniDO fucrit maledictus, qui, si me in- 
vocaverit, non revertatur ad Detim, et habebit misericordiam. — Tfj. 

* Ej^o vocor ab oiunibiis mater miscrlcordise, vere tilia misericordia Filii mei 
misencordem me fecit. — Bev. lib. ii, cap. 23. 

* Idco luiaer crit, qui ad iiiiscricordiam, cum pcssit, non accrdit. — lirr, lib. ii, 
cap. 23 



my spouse ; come from Libanus, come : thou shalt be 

crowned from the dens of the lions, from the 

mountains of the leopards." ^ And what are these dens of 
beasts, but miserable sinners, whose souls have become 
the home of sin, the most frightful monster that can be 
found ? ' With such souls,' says the Abbot Kupert, ad- 
dressing our Blessed Lady, * saved by thy means, great 
Queen Mary, wilt thou be crowned in heaven, for their 
salvation will form a diadem, worthy of, and well becoming, 
a Queen of Mercy.' ^ On this subject read the following 


We read, in the life of Sister Catherine, of St. Augustine, 
that in the place where she resided, there was a woman, 
of the name of Mary, who in her youth, was a sinner, and 
in her old age continued so obstinate in wickedness, that 
she was driven out of the city, and reduced to live in a 
secluded cave ; there she died, half consumed by disease, 
and without the sacraments, and was consequently interred 
in a field like a beast. Sister Catherine, who always re- 
commended the souls of those who departed from this 
world, with great fervour, to God, on hearing the unfor- 
tunate end of this poor old woman, never thought of pray- 
ing for her, and she looked upon her (as did every one else) 
as irrevocably lost. One day, four years afterwards, a 
suffering soul appeared to her, and exclaimed : * How un- 
fortunate is my lot, sister Catherine ; thou recommendest 
the souls of all those that die, to God : on my soul alone 
thou hast not compassion?' 'And who art thou?' asked 
the servant of God. * I am,' she replied, ' that poor Mary, 
who died in the cave.' *And art thou saved?' said 
Catherine. * Yes,' she answered, * by the mercy of the 
Blessed Vii'gin Mary.' * Arid how ? ' * When I saw myself 
at the point of death, loaded with sins, and abandoned by 
all, I had recourse to the Mother of God, saying. Lady, 

1 Yeni de Libano, sponsa mea, veni de Libano, veni, coronaberis de 

cubilibns leonnm, de montibus pardorum. — Cant, iv, 8. 

* De talium leontim cnbilibus talioromque paidorum montiboB tu arnica mea 
coronaberis . . . Eoram salus corona taa ent. — In Cant. lib. iii. 


thou art the refuge of abaadoned creatures : behold me, at 
this moment, abandoned by all ; thou art my only hc^ ; 
thou alone canst help me ; have pity on me. The Blesaed 
Virgin obtained me the grace to make an act of contrition. 
I died, and am saved ; and besides this, she, my Queea, 
obtained that my purgatory shoidd be shortened, by en- 
during, in intensity, that which otherwise would have 
lasted for many years : I now only want a few masses to 
be entirely delivered ; I beg thee to get them said, and oa 
my part, I promise always to pray for thee to God and to 
Marj^' Sister Catherine immediately had the masses 
said ; and after a few days that soul again appeared to her, 
shining lil^e the sun, and said : ' I thank thee, Catherine : 
behold, I go to Paradise, to sing the mercies of my God, 
and to pray for thee.' 


0, Mother of my God, and my Lady Mary : as a beggar, 
an wounded and sore, presents himself before a great 
queen, so do I present myself before thee, who art the 
Queen of heaven and earth. Erom the lofty throne on 
which thou sittest, disdain not, I implore thee, to cast 
thine eyes on me, a poor sinner. God has made thee so 
rich that thou mightest assist the poor, and has constituted 
thee Queen of Mercy, in order that thou mightest relieve 
the miserable. Behold me then, and pity me : behold me, 
and abandon me not, until thou seest me changed from a 
sinner into a saint. I know well that I merit nothing ; 
nay more, that I deserve, on account of my ingratitude, to 
be deprived of the graces, that, through thy means, I have 
already received from God But thou, who art the Queen 
of Mercy, seekest not merits, but miseries, in order to 
help the needy. But who is more needy than 1 ? 

O, exalted Virgin, well do I know that thou, who art 
Queen of the universe, art already my queen ; yet am I 
determined to dedicate myself more especially to thy ser- 
vice, in order that thou mayst dispose of me as thou 


pleasest. Therefore do I address thee in the words of 
St. Bonaventure : * ' Do thon govern me, O my Queen, and 
leave me not to myself. Command me ; employ me as 
thou wilt, and chastise me when I do not obey ; for the 
chastisements that come from thy hands will to me be 
pledges of salvation. I value more the being thy servant, 
than being ruler of the earth. " I am thine ; save me." * ^ 
Accept me, O Mary, for thine own, and as thine, take 
charge of my salvation. I will no longer be mine ; to thee 
do I give myself. If, during the time past, I have served 
thee iU, and lost so many occasions of honouring thee, for 
the future I will be one of thv most lovins: and faithful 
servants. I am determined that from this day forward no 
one shall surpass me, in honouring and loving thee, my 
most amiable Queen. This I promise ; and this, with thy 
help, I hope to execute. Amen. 

Section II. — Hoio much our confidence in Mary sTiould be 
increased, from tJiefact ofJier being our Mother. 

It is not without a meaning, or by chance, that Mary's 
cHents call her Mother; and indeed they seem unable 
to invoke her under any other name, and never tire of 
calling her Mother. Mother, yes ! for she is truly our 
Mother ; not indeed carnally, but spiritually ; of our souls 
and of our salvation. Sin, by depriving our souls of 
Divine grace, deprived them also of life. Jesus our 
Eedeemer, with an excess of mercy and love, came to 
restore this life by His own death on the cross, as He 
Himself declared : " I am come that they may have life, 
and may have it more abundantly." ^ He says more 
abundantly ; for, according to theologians, the benefit of 
redemption far exceeded the injmy done by Adam's sin. 
So that by reconciling us with God, He made Himself the 

1 Domina, me totaliter tuee doniinationi committo, ut me plenarie regaa et 
gabemea. Non mihi me relinquaa. — In Salve Beg. 
* Tnua mm ego, sftlviuii mc tac— Pj. cxviii, 94. 
s Veni, at ritam habeant, et abundantius habcaiit.— /oan. x. 10, 


Father of Souls in the law of grace, as it was foretold by 
the prophet Isaias : " He shaM be called the Father of the 
world to come, the Prince of Peace." ^ But if Jesus 
is the Father of our Souls, Mary is also their Mother ; 
for she, by giving us Jesus, gave us true life; and 
afterwards, by offering the life of her Son on Mount 
Calvary for our salvation, she brought us forth to the life 
of grace. 

On two occasions, then, according to the holy Fathers, 
Mary became our Spiritual Mother. And the first, ac- 
cording to Blessed Albert the Great, was when she merited 
to conceive in h^r virginal womb the Son of God. St.Ber- 
nardine of Sienna says the same thing more distinctly, for 
he tells us, 'that when at the Annunciation the most 
Blessed Virgin gave the consent which was expected by 
the Eternal Word before becoming her Son, she from that 
moment asked our salvation of God with intense ardour, 
and took it to heart in such a way, that from that moment, 
as a most loving mother, she bore us in her womb.'- In 
the second chapter of St. Luke, the Evangelist, speaking of 
the birth of our Blessed Redeemer, says that Mary "brought 
forth her first-bom son." ^ Then remarks an author, 
* Since the Evangelist asserts that on this occasion the 
most Holy Virgin brought forth her first-bom, must we 
suppose that she had afterwards other children?' But 
then he replies to his ov/n question, saying : * That as it 
is of faith that Mary had no other children, according to 
the flesh, than Jesus, she must have had other spiritual 
children, and we are those children.' This was revealed 
by our, Lord to St. Gertrude, who was one day reading 
the above text, and was perplexed and could not under- 
stand how Mary, being only the Mother of Jesus, could 
be said to have brought forth her first-bora. God ex- 

1 Pater fattiri seeculi, princeps pacis. — Is. vs., 6. 

8 Virgo per hunc consensuni in Incamatione filii omnium electorum salutem 
vigorosiaaime expetiit et procuravit : et omnium saluti et eorum salvationi per 
hunc consensum se singmarissime dedieavit ; ita ut ex tunc omnes in suis visce- 
ribus bajularet, tanquam verissinia mater lUios suos. — Tr. de B. V. Serm. viii. 

3 Peperit fllium suum primogenitum. — Liic. ii, 7- 


plained it to her, saying, that Jesus was Mary's first-born 
according to the flesh, but that all mankind were her 
second-bom according to the Spirit. 

From what has been said, we can understand that 
passage of the sacred Canticles : " Thy belly is like a heap 
of wheat, set about with lilies,"^ and which applies to 
Mary. And it is explained by St. Ambrose, who says : 

* That although in the most pure womb of Mary there was 
but one grain of corn, which was Jesus Christ, yet it is 
called a heap of wheat, because, all the elect were virtually 
contained in it ;'2 and as Mary was also to be their Mother, 
in biinging forth Jesus, He was truly and is called the 
first-bom of many brethren. And the Abbot St. William 
writes in the same sense, saying : * That Mary, in bringing 
forth Jesus, our Saviour and our Life, brought forth many 
unto salvation; and by giving birth to Life itself, she 
gave life to many.' ^ 

The second occasion on which Mary became our Spiritual 
Mother, and brought us forth to the life of grace was 
when she offered to the Eternal Father the life of her 
beloved Son on Mount Calvary, with such bitter sorrow 
and suffering. So that St. Augustine declares, that, *As she 
then cooperated by her love in the birth of the faithful 
to the life of grace, she became the Spiritual Mother of 
all who are members of the one Head,. Christ Jesus.'* 
This we are given to understand by the following verse of 
the sacred Canticles, and which refers to the most Blessed 
Virgin ; " They have made me the keeper in the vineyards ; 
my vineyard I have not kept." ^ St. William says, that 

* Mary, in order that she might save many souls, exposed 
her own to death ;' ^ meaning, that to save us, she 

1 Venter tuus sicut acenus tritici vallatus liliis, — Cant, vii, 2. 

* In ^uo virginis utcro . . . acervus tritici . . . germinabat ; qnoniam . . . gra- 
nuni tntici generabat . . . Scd . . . dc uno grano tritici acervus est factus. — 
S. Ambr. de liistit. Virg. 

* In illo uno fmctu, in uno Salvatorc omnium Jesu plurimos Maria pepcrit 
ad sahitem. Pariendo vitam, multos peperit ad vitam. — In Cant, vii, 3. t 

* Plane mater membrorum ejus (quod nos sumus) quia cooperata est cliaritatc, 
ut fideles in Ecclcsia nascerentur. — De S. Tlrginitate, cap. vi. 

* Posuit me custodcm in vineis ; vineam lueam non custodivi. — Cant i, 5. 
6 ut mnltas animas salvas faceret, animam suani morti cxposuit. t 

sftcriftoed th^ life of Uer ^ou. Aud wUo but . J«»U5.i3¥g^ 
tte.soiil of Mavy ? He was ber life, and all b^r l^Q^, 
Aud therefore the prophet Simeon foretold that a ^w^^d 
of ^iTow would one day transpierce her own fliio^t l^L^i^ed 
soul.i And it waa precisely the lance wliich tra^sj^i^jiqed 
tlie 9ide of Jesus, who was the soid of Maiy. Then it j^'QB> 
that this most Blessed Virgin brought us forth by her-a(??v 
rows to eternal life : and thus we can all call oujrselvjEjB thyc* 
children of the soitows of Mary. Our most loving Mother 
was always, and in all, united to the will of God. ' A^wd 
therefore/ says St. Bonaventure, ' when she saw the love 
of the Eternal Father towards men to be so great that, in 
order to save them, He willed the death of His Son ; and, 
on the other hand, seeing the love of the Son in wishing 
to die for us : in order to conform herself to this excessive 
love of both the Father and the Son towards the human 
race, she also with her entire will, offered, and consented to, 
the death of her Son, in order that we might be saved.' ^ 

It is true that, according to the prophecy of Isaias, 
Jesus, in dying for the redemption of the human race, 
chose to be alone. " I have trodden the wine-press alone," ^ 
but, seeing the ardent desire of Mary to aid in the salva- 
tion of man. He disposed it so that she by the sacrifice 
and offering of the life of her Jesus, should cooperate ia 
our salvation, and thus become the mother of our souk. 
This our Saviour signified, when, before expiring. He 
looked down from the cross on His mother and on the 
disciple St. John, who stood at its foot, and, first ad- 
dressing Marj^ he said; "Behold thy Son;"* as it were 
saying. Behold, the whole human race, wliich by the offer 
thou makest of my life for the salvation of all, is even now 
being born to the life of grace. Then, turning to the 
disciple, he said, " Behold thy Mother." ^ « By these 

^ Et tnam ipsius nniniam pertronsibit gladins. — Lue. ii, 85. 

* Nullo niodo dubitanduni est, quin Mariie animaa voluerit etiain trulere iUitini 
sunm pro. salute generis humaiu, nt mater per omnia confonnis iieret. Fatd et 
Filio.— 5. Bo7i, 

> .'Dorcnjariuilcsvi aofau.— /«. Lxiii, 8. 

* Eccc lilius txms. — Joan. \ix, 26. 

* Deinde dicit discipulo : eccc mutep tua.—Jiiwii. m, 27« •• 


trcafds,' says St. Bemardine of Sienna, ' Mary, by reason 
of the love she bore them, became the Mother, not only 
of St. Jdm, but of all men/ ^ And Silveira remarks, that 
St. John himself, in stating this fact in his Gospel, says : 
** Then he said to the disciple : behold thy mother." 
Hare observe well that Jesus Christ did not address 
Himself to John, but to the disciple, in order to show 
that He then gave Mary to all who are his disciples ; that 
is to say, to all Christians, that she might be their mother. 
' John is but the name of one, wh^eas the word disciple is 
applicable to all, therefore our Lord makes use of a name 
common to all to show that Mary was given as a Mother 
to aU.' 2 

The Church applies to Mary these words of the sacred 
Cantides : " I am the mother of fair love ;" ^ and a com- 
mentator explaining them, says, that the Blessed Virgin's 
love renders our souls beautiM in the sight of God, and 
also makes her as a most loving mother receive us as her 
children, ' she being all love towards those whom she has 
thus adopted.' ^ And what mother, exclaims St. Bona* 
venture, loves her children, and attends to their welfare, 
as thou lovest us and carest for us, oh most sweet Queen ! 
' For dost thou not love us, and seek our welfare far more 
without comparison than any earthly mother ! ' ^ O, blessed 
are they who Live under the protection of so loving and 
powerfol a mother! The prophet David, although she 
was not yet bom, sought salvation from God by dedicating 
himself as a son of Mary, and thus prayed : " Save the 
son of thy handmaid."^ 'Of what handmaid?' asks 
St. Augustine ; and he replies : * Of her who said. Behold 

1 In Joanne intelligimuB omnes, quonim B. Virgo per dilectionem facta est 
Ifater.— Tom. i, Serm. 51. 

' Joannes nomen est particulare . . . discipulus nomen est conunnne, utitur 
ergo hie nomine commnm omnibns ut denotetnr, quod ipsa Virgo Maria omnibus 
duator in Matrem. — In Evan^. lib. viii, cap. 17, qnieat. l4. 

* Ego mater pnlchrae dilectioms. — JBeeles. xsiv, 24. 

^ (taia tota eat amor erga nos qnoa in filioa recepit. — Paciwch. In Ps. Ixxzri, 

* Nonne pins sine comparatione nos diligis, ac bonnm noftrum procnras, 
implins, quam mater camaus?— /» Salt. Reg. 

* Salvom Uc filinm aneUlse tnse.*— P«. Ixxxv. 16. 



the liandmaid of the Lord.' ^ * And who/ says Cardmai 
Bellarmine, ' would ever dare to snatch these children from 
the bosom of Mary, when they have taken refuge there ? 
What power of hell, or what temptation can overcome 
them, if they place their confidence in the patronage of 
this great Mother, the Mother of God, and of them ? ' * 
There are some who say that when the whaJe sees its 
young in danger, either from tempests or pursuers, it 
opens its mouth and swallows them. This is precisely 
what Novarinus asserts of Mary : * When the storms of 
temptations rage, the most compassionate Mother of the 
faithful, with maternal tenderness, protects them as it 
were in her own bosom until she has brought them into 
the harbour of salvation.' ^ O most loving Mother ! O 
most compassionate Mother 1 be thou ever blessed, and 
ever blessed be God, who has given thee to us for our 
Mother, and for a secure refuge in all the dangers of thi« 
life ! Our Blessed Lady herself, in a vision addressed 
these words to St. Bridget : * As a mother on seeing her 
son in the midst of the swords of his enemies would use 
every effort to save him, so do I, and will do for all sinners 
who seek my mercy.' * Thus it is that in every engagement 
with the infernal powers we shall always certainly conquer 
by having recourse to the Mother of God, who is also our 
Mother, saying and repeating again and again : 'We fly to 
thy patronage, O hbly Mother of God: we fly to thy 
patronage, O holy Mother of God 1' O, how many victories 
have not the faithftd gained over hell, by having recourse 
to Mary with this short but most powerful prayer 1 Thus it 
was that that great servant of God, Sister Mary, the Crucified 
of the Order of St. Benedict, always overcame the devils. 
Be of good heart, then, all you who are children of 

} Cujtis ancillee .... quee ait ecce andlla Domini. — In Ps. 85. 

* Quani bene nobis ent sub preesidio tantse Matris? Quis nos detrahere 
audebit de sinu ejus P Quee nos tentatio, quse tribulatio superare poterit, con- 
lidentes in patrocinio Matris Dei et nostrse ? — BeUami. de Sept. Verb. 

* Fldeliunipiisima Mater, furente tentationum tempestate, materno aflPectu eos 
velut intra viscera propria receptos protegit, donee in beatum portum reponat.— 
r. cap. xiv, exc. 81 .t 

4 Ita ego facio, et faciam omnibus pcccatorlbus misericiMrdiaiu meam a filiomeo 
petentibus.— .R^. lib. iv, cap. 138. 


Muy. Bemember that she accepts as her chiicbreti all 
those who choose to be so. Rejoice ! Why do you fear 
to be lost, when such a Mother defends and protects you ? 
'Say, then, O my soul, with great confidence: I will 
rejoice and be glad; for whatever the judgment to be 
pronounced on me may be, it depends on and must come 
from my brother and mother.' ^ ' Thus,* says St. Bona- 
venture, * it is that each one who loves this good Mother, 
and relies on her protection, should animate himself to 
confidence, remembering that Jesus is our brother, and 
Mary our Mother.' The same thought makes St. Ansehn 
<ary out with joy, and encourage us, saying : * O, happy 
confidence ! O, safe refuge ; the Mother of Qod is my 
Mother! How firm, then, should be our confidence, 
since our salvation depends on the judgment of a good 
brother and a tender mother.' ^ It is, then, our Mother 
who calls us, and says, in these words of the Book of 
Proverbs : " He that is a little one, let him turn to me." ' 
Children have always on their lips their mother's name, 
and in every fear, in every danger, they immediately cry 
out, Mother, mother ! Ah, most sw^et Mary 1 ah, most 
bving Mother 1 this is precisely what thou desirest : that 
we should become children, and call on thee in every 
danger, and at all times have recourse to thee, because 
thou desirest to help and save us, as thou hast saved all 
who have had recourse to thee. 


In the history of the foundations of the Society of 
Jesus in the kingdom of Naples,^ we read the ft^owing 
account of a young Scotch nobleman,* named William 
Elphinstone. He was related to king James, and Hved 
for some time in the heresy in which he was bom. En- 
lightened by Divine grace, he began to perceive his ^rors, 

1 Pic, ajiinia met, cum magna fidncia:. exnltabo et letabor, quia qoicquid 
jodicabitor de me, pendet ex Bcntentia fratris et matris meee. f 
* O beata flducia, O tutran refagium ! Mater Dei est Mater nostra . . . Qua 

Star certitndine debemns Bperare . . . quorum aire salua sive damnatio, de boni 
itrifl, et dc pise matris pendent arbitrio ? — Or. htod S,V, 

'Prov. ix, 7. * Lib. t, c. 7. 

^BW*AK «/%^« VaV«*«*«A««# «»«#K#Vft«#»«V HJf#\«J>UA.W ■ ■ • U1A1 

vtrifl, et dc pise matris pendent arbitrio ? — (h: hfOd JS.V, 
* Si quia est parvulus veniat ad me. — Ft 


and having gone to France, with the help of a good Jesuit 
father, who was also a Scotchman, and still more by the 
intercession of the Blessed Virgin, he at length discovered 
the truth, abjured his heresy, and became a Catholic. 
From France he went to Eome ; and there a friend, 
finding him one day weeping and in great affliction, en* 
quired the cause of his grief. Kt replied, that during 
the night his mother, who was lost, appeared to him, and 
said : * It is well for thee, son, that thou hast entered 
the true church, for as I died in heresy, I am lost.' From 
that moment he redoubled his devotion towards Mary, 
choosing her for his only Mother, and by her he was 
inspired with the thought of embracing the religious state, 
and he bound himself to do so by vow. Being in delicate 
health, he went to Naples for change of air, and there it 
was the will of Grod that he should die, and die as a 
religious ; for shortly after his arrival, finding himself at 
the last extremity, by his prayers and tears he moved the 
superiors to accept him, and in presence of the most 
Blessed Sacrament, when he received it as viaticum, he 
pronounced his vows, and was declared a member of the 
Society of Jesus. After this it was most touching to 
hear with what tenderness he thanked his Mother Mary, 
for having snatched him from heresy, and led him to die 
in the true Church, and in the house of Grod, surrounded 
by his religious brethren. This made him exclaim : * Oh, 
how glorious is it to die in the midst of so many angels.' 
When exhorted to repose a little, * Ah,* he replied, * this 
is no time for repose, now that I am at the close of my 
life.' Before expiring, he said to those who surrounded 
him : * Brothers, "do you not see the angels of Heaven here 
present who assist me ? ' One of the religious having heard 
liim mutter some words, asked him what he said. He 
replied, that his guardian angel had revealed to him that 
he would remain but a very short time in purgatory, and 
that he would soon go to heaven. He then entered into 
a colloquy with his sweet Mother Mary, and like a child 
that abandons itself to rest in the arms of its mother, he 


fetclaimedv 'Mother, nvother!^ and sweetly eipired: 
Shortly afterwards a devout religioTis learnt by revelation 
tliat he -v^as alreadv in Heaven. 


Oil naost holy Mother Mary, how fs it possible that T, 
paving so holy a Mother, should bp so wicked ? a M,oth.QT 
fdl burning witji the love of God, and I loving creatuFjes ; 
a Mother so rich in virtue, and I so poor ? Ah, most 
amiable Mother, it is tme that I do not deserve, any longer 
to be thy son, for by my wicked life I have rendered 
myself unworthy of so great an honom*. I am satisfied 
that thou shouldst accept me for thy servant; and, in 
order to be admitted amongst the vilest of them, I ap^ 
ready to renounce all the kingdoms of the world. Yes, t 
am satisfied. But stiU thou must not forbid me to ca]| 
thee Mother. This name consoles and fills me witif 
tenderness, and reminds me of my obligation to love thee. 
This name excites me to great confidence in thee. When 
my sins and the Divine justice fill me most with conster- 
nation, I am all consoled at the thought that thou aii: piy 
Mother. Allow me then to call thee. Mother, my most 
amiable Mother 1 Thus do I call thee, and thus will I 
always call thee. Thou, after God, must be my hope, my 
r^ge, my love, in. this valley of tears. Thus dp I hope 
to die, breathing forth my soul into thy holy hands, ^n4 
saying, My Mother, my Mother Mary, help me, have pij;y 
on me ! Amen. 

Section III. — On tJte greatness of the love which tTtu 

MoiJier hears 7i8. 

. . Since li^lary is our Mother, we may consider how great 
is the love she bears us ; love towards our children is 
^1 necessary impulse of nature; and St. Thomas, s?^ys 
tj^at tjus i* the ^-ea^on. why the Divine J^w, impqs^s 



on cluldren tke obligation of loving thek paretits $ * bat 
gives no express command that parents should lo^ie 'their 
children, for nature itself has so strongly implanted it in 
all creatures, that, as St. Ambrose remarks, * we know that 
a mother will expose herself to danger for her children,' ^ 
and even the most savage beasts cannot do otherwise than 
love their young. It is said that even tigers, on hearing the 
cry of their cubs taken by hunters, will go into the sea and 
swim until they reach the vessel in which they are. Since 
the very tigers, says our most loving Mother Mary, cannot 
forget their young, how can I forget to love you, my children ? 
And even, she adds, were such a thing possible as that 
a mother should forget to love her child, it is not possible 
that I should cease to love a soul that has become my 
child, " can a woman forget her infant, so as not to have 
pity on the son of her womb ? And if she should forget, 
yet will I not forget thee." ^ Mary is our mother, not as 
we have already obsei*ved according to the flesh, but by 
love, " I am the Mother of fair love;""* hence it is the 
love only that she bears us that makes her our Mother, 
and therefore some one remarks * that she glories in being 
a Mother of love, because she is all love towards us whom 
she has adopted for her children.' * And who can ever 
tell the love that Mary bears us miserable creatures? 
Arnold of Chartres tells us that * at the death of Jesus 
Christ, she desired with immense ardour to die with her 
son, for love of us ;'^ so much so, adds St. Ambrose, that 
whilst * her son himg on the cross, Mary offered herself to 
the executioners' ^ to give her life for us. 

But let us consider the reasons of this love, for then 
we shall be better able to understand how much this good 

1 Sdmus quia mater pro filiis ee ofPert pericolo.— L. vi, Exp. £v. 4. 

* Numquia oblivisci potest mnlier infantem suum, ut uon miaereatur filio uteri 
sui? £t si ilia oblita fuerit, ego tameii non obliviscar tui. — Is. idix, 15. 

* Ego mater pulchrse dilectionis. — EccUs. xxiv, 24. 

* Se dilectionis esse matrem merito gbriatur, quia tota est amor erga no*, 
quos in filioB recepit. — Pacciuch. in Ps. 86; Excit. xxii, n. 5. 

^ Optabat ^uidem ipsa, ad sangninem animee, et camis suee addere sangninem . . • 
et cum Domino, Jesu oorporali morte redemptionis nostrse consummarc myste- 
riirni. — De vii, verb. Dom. 

* Fendebat in cmee tlius, mater persecateriboB se ofliorebat.^i); Itut. Vtrg, a7 • 


jifothor loves ns. ' ^e first reason for the great love thai 
Mfbty bears to men, is the great love that she bears to God ; 
love towards God and love towards our neighbour belong 
to the same commandment, as expressed by St. John, 
"this commandment we have from God, that he who 
loveth God, love also his brother ;*'* so that as the one 
becomes greater the other also increases. Wliat have not 
the saints done for their neighbour in consequence of 
thdr love towards God? Read only the account of 
die labours of St. Francis Xavier, in the Indies, where, in 
order to aid the souls of these poor barbarians, and bring 
them to God, he exposed himself to a thousand dangers, 
clambering amongst the moimtains, and seeking out these 
poor (a?eatures in the caves in which they dwelt like wild 
beasts ; see a St. Francis of Sales, who, in order to convert 
the heretics of the province of Chablais, risked his life 
every morning, for a whole year, crawling on his hands 
and feet over a frozen beam, in order that he might preach 
to them on the opposite side of a river ; a St. Paulinus, 
who deliveped himself up as a slave, in order that he 
mi^t obtain liberty for the son of a poor widow ; a 
St. Fidelis, who, in order to draw the heretics of a certain 
place to God, persisted in going to preach to them, though 
he knew it would cost him Ms Kfe. The saints, then, 
because they loved God much, did much for their neigh- 
bour ; but who ever loved Grod as much as Mary ? She 
loved Him more in the first moment of her existence, than 
all the saints and angels ever loved Him, or will love Him ; 
but this we shall explain, at length, when treating of her 
virtues . Our Blessed Lady herself revealed to sister Mary the 
Crocified, that the fire of love with which she was inflamed 
towards God, was such that if the heavens and earth were 
placed in it they would be instantly consumed ; so that 
the ardours of the seraphim, in comparison with it, were 
but as fresh breezes. And as amongst all the blessed 
spirits, there is not one that loves God more than Mary, 

1 Hoc mAndattim habemns a JkQ, ut qui ditigit 3)ocun» diHgatetftatrem vtWBn 
.—J. Joan, iv, 91. ' " 


60 we neither have nor can have any one who, affei* 
God, loves us as much as this most loving Mother ; and 
if we concentrate all the love that mothers bear thcit 
children, husbands and wives one another, all the love of 
angels and saints for their clients ; it does not equal the 
love of Mary towards a single soid. Father Nierembergfr 
says that the love that all mothers have ever had for their 
cluldren, is but a shadow, in comparison with the love that 
Mary bears to each one of us ; and he adds, that she done 
loves us more than all the angels and saints put together. 
Moreover, our Mother loves us much, because we were 
recommended to her by her beloved Jesus, when He before 
expiring said to her " woman, behold thy son," for we were 
all represented in the person of St. John, as we have 
already observed : these were His last words. And the 
last recommendations left before death by persons we love, 
are always treasured and never forgotten ; but, again, we 
are exceedingly dear to Mary on account of the sufferings 
we cost her ; mothers generally love those children most, 
the preservation of whose lives has cost them the most 
suffering and anxiety; we are those children for whom 
Mary, in order to obtain for us the life of grace, was 
obliged to endure the bitter agony of herself offering her 
beloved Jesus to die an ignominious death, and had also 
to see Him expire before her own eyes in the midst of the 
most cruel and unheard of torments. It was then by this 
great offering of Mary that we were bom to the life of 
grace ; we are therefore her veiy dear children, since we 
cost her so great suffering. And thus, as it is written of 
the love of the Eternal Father towards men, in giving his 
own Son to death for us, that " God so loved the worid, 
as to give his only begotten Son." ^ / So also,' saj^s 
St. Bonaventure, * we can say of Mary, that she has so 
loved us, as to give her only begotten Son for us.' ^ And 
when did she give him ? ' She gave liim,' says Father 
Nierembergli, when she granted liim permission to deliver 

1 Sic DeuB dilexit mundiuu, ut filiam suuni imigenitiuu daret.'— /oait. iii, 16. 
* Sic Maria dilexit nos, nt filiusi saum uuigenitum daret. t 


iiimself up to death ; she gave him, when, others neglecting 
to do so, either out of hatred or from fear, she might herself 
have pleaded for the life of her Son before the judges ; 
and weU may it be supposed that the words of so wise and 
loving a mother woidd have had great weight, at least 
with Pilate, and might have prevented him from sen* 
tencing a man to death whom he knew and had declared 
to be innocent. But no, Mary would not say a word in 
favour of her Son, lest she might prevent that death on 
which our salvation depended. Finally^ she gave him a 
thousand and a thousand times, during the three hours 
preceding His death, and which she spent at the foot of the 
cross ; for, during the whole of that time, she unceasingly 
offered, with the extreme of sorrow and the extreme 
of love, the life of her Son in our behalf, and this with 
such constancy, that St. Anselm and St. Antoninus say, 
that if executioners had been wanting, she herself would 
have crucified Him, in order to obey the Eternal Father, 
who willed His death for our salvation. If Abraham 
had such fortitude as to be ready to sacrifice with his 
own hands the life of his son, with far greater fortitude 
would Mary (far more holy and obedient than Abraham) 
have sacrificed the life of hers. But let us return to 
the consideration of the gratitude we owe to Mary for 
so great an act of love, as was the painful sacrifice of 
the Hfe of her Son, which she made to obtain eternal sal- 
vation for us all. Grod abundantly rewarded Abraham 
for the sacrifice he was prepared to make of his son 
Isaac ; but we, what return can we make to Mary for the 
life of her Jesus, a son far more noble and beloved than 
the son of Abraham ? ' This love of Mary,' says St. Bona- 
venture, * has indeed obliged us to love her ; for we see 
that she has surpassed all others in love towsurds us, since 
she has given her only Son, whom she loved more than her- 
self, for us.' 1 

1 Nnllapost earn creatnra ita per amorem nostrum exardescet, queefilium suum 
vniciuii, mieni molto pliu k amavit, nobis dedit, et pro nobis obtulit. — 
S. B<mav..t. 


From this arises another motive for the love of Mary 
towards us ; for in us she beholds that which has be^i 
purchased at the price of the death of Jesus Christ. If a 
mother knew that a servant had been .ransomed by a 
beloved son, at the price of twenty years of imprisonment 
and suffering, how greatly would she bsteem that servant, 
if on this account alone ? Mary well knows that her Son 
came into the world only to save us poor creatures, as He 
Himself protested, " I am come to save that which was 
lost." ^ And to save us He was pleased even to lay down 
His life for us, ''having become obedient unto death." ^ 
If, then, Mary loved us but little, she would show that 
she valued but little the blood of her Son, vhich was the 
price of our salvation. To St. Elizabeth of Hungary it 
was revealed, that Mary, from the time she dwelt in the 
Temple, did nothing but pray for us, begging that God 
would hasten the coming of His Son into the world to 
save us. And how much more must we suppose that she 
loves us, now that she has seen that we are valued to 
such a degree by her Son, that He did not disdain to 
purchase us at such a cost. And because all men have 
been redeemed by Jesus, therefore Mary loves and protects 
them all. It was she who was seen by St. John in the 
Apocalypse, clothed with the sun: "And a great sign 
appeared in heaven : a woman clothed with the sun," ^ 
She is said to be clothed with the sun, because as there is 
no one on earth who can be hidden from the heat of the 
sun — "There is no one that can hide himself from his 
heat" * — so there is no one living who can be deprived of 
the love of Mary. " From its heat," that is, as blessed 
Eaymond Jordano applies the words, ' from the love of 
Mary.' ' And who,' exclaims St. Antoninus, * can ever 
form an idea of the tender care that this most loving 
mother takes of all of us, ' * ' offering and dispensing her mercy 

1 Salvum facere quod perierat.— Z«(;. Jtix, 10. 

* Factus obediens usque ad mortem. — Phil, ii, 8. 

* £t uguim magnum apparuit in coelo. mulier amicta lole.— ^jwc. xii, 1. 

* Non e t qui se absconoit a calore ejus.— P*. x^iii, 7. 

» Oh quanta est cura B. Virgini matn de nohis '.—Torn, iv, lit. 15, c. 8. 


to every one ; ' ^ for onr good mother desired the salvation of 
ail, and cooperated in obtaining it. ' It is evident/ says 
St. Bernard, ' that she was solieitous for the whole human 
laoe.^ Hence the custom of some of Mary's clients, 
spoken of by Gomelins a Lapide, and which consists in 
asking onr Lord to grant them the graces that onr Blessed 
Lady seeks for them, succeeds most advantageously : they 
say, Lord, grant me that which the most Blessed Yirgin 
Mary asks for me. 'And no wonder,' adds the same 
writer, 'for oor mother desires for us better things than 
we can possibly desire ourselves.' ^ The devout Bemar- 
dine da Busto says, that Mary loves to do us good, and 
dispense graces to us &r more than we to receive them.^ 
On this subject Blessed Albert the Great applies to Mary 
the words of the book of wisdom : " She preventeth them 
that covet her, so that she first sheweth herself unto 
them."^ Mary anticipates those who have recourse to 
her by nuking them find her before they seek her. ' The 
love that this good mother bears us is so great,' says 
Bichard of St. Lawrence, ' that as soon as she perceives 
our wants, she comes to our assistance. She comes before 
she is called.'^ 

And now, if Mary is so good to all, even to the 
ungrateful and negligent, who love her but little, and 
seldom have recourse to her, how much more laving will 
she be to those who love her, and often call upon her. 
" She is easily found by them that seek her." '' * Oh, how 
easy,' adds the same Blessed Albert, ' is it for those who 
love Maty to find her, and to find her full of compassion 
and love.* In the words of the Book of Proverbs. " I love 
theiit that love me,"^ she protests that she cannot do 
otherwise than love those who love her. And although 

1 OuinbitB aperit sittum miserlcorcliR warn. — ^Ibid. 

* C<MiBtat pro nnivcrso g«neie humfino fiiiase aoUicitam.— In Assump. B. M. 
Senn. iv. 

* Ipsa eiimi m^jart optttb, tfoam. nos optare posnmnis. t 

* Plus enim desideiat ipsa facere tibi oonum et largiri olii 

nam gratiaiB«quaai 

eJTis pietas quam invocetur. — Ssp.i 
7 facile .... invenitur ab his qusrunt illam.— iSiip. \h IS- 
• Ego diligentes me diligo.—Pror. viii, 17. 


this most loving Lady loves ail men as her ckildieH, yet: 
says St. Bernard, ' she recognises and lov«8,' that is^ she 
loves in a more special manner those who love faer more 
tenderly. Blessed Eaymond Jordano asserts that these 
happy lovers of Mary are not only loved but even served 
by her, for he says that those who find the most Blessed 
Virgin Mary, find all ; for she loves those who love her, 
nay more, she serves those who serve her.* 

In the chronicles of the Order of St. Dominic it is 
related that one of the Mars named Leonard used to 
recommend himself two hundred times a day to this 
Mother of Mercy, and that when he was attacked by his 
last illness, he saw a most beautiful queen by his side, 
who thus addressed him : ' Leonard, wilt thou die and 
come and dwell vnth my son and with me ? ' * And who 
art thou ? ' he replied. ' I am,' said the most Blessed 
Virgin, for she it was ; I am the Mother of Mercy : thou 
hast so many times invoked me, behold, I am now oome 
to take thee ; let us go together to Paradise.' On the 
same day Leonard died, and, as we trust, followed her to 
the kingdom of the blessed. 

* Ah, most sweet Mary ! ' exclaimed the venerable 
brother John Berchmans, of the Society of Jesus, ' blessed 
is he who loves thee ! If I love Mary I am certain of per- 
severance, and shall obtain whatever I wish from God.* 
Therefore the devout youth was never tired of renewing 
his resolution and of repeating often to himself: 'I 
will love Mary; I will love Mary.' Oh, how muoh 
does the love of this good mother exceed that of all her 
children ; let them love her as much as they will, Mary 
is always amongst lovers the most loving. Let them 
love her like a St. Stanislaus Kostka, who loved this 
dear Mother so tenderly, that in speaking of her he moved 
all who heard him to love her : he had made new words 
and new titles, with which to honour her name. He 
never did anything without first turning to her image, 

1 InTenta . . . Virgine Maria, invenitur omne bonvm ; ipsa namque diligit dili- 
gentes se, imiuo sibi servientibnB semt.— i)ff Cmtempl. Vtrg. in Prol. 

to A^^ker blessing'. When he said her offi<^, theittiisarjr, 
OB -o^». I prayers, he did so with the same external 
mudzs of affeetion as he would have doiEie had he 
been speaking faee to faee with Mary; when the Salve 
Begina was sung,- his whole soul, and even his whole coun^ 
tennDoe, was all inflamed wi^ love. On being one day 
ariced hf a father of the Society who was going with him 
to visit a picture of the Blessed Virgin, how much he 
loved Mary,—** Father,' he replied, * what more can I say ? 
she ia my mother.' *But,' adds the father, *the holy 
youth uttered these words with such tenderness in his 
voice, with such an expression of countenance, and at the 
same lime it came so fully from his heart, that it no longer 
seemed to be a young man, but rather an angel speaking 
ofthe love of Mary.' 

Let us love her like a blessed Hermann, who called her 
the spouse of his love, for he was honoured by Mary 
herself with this same title. Let us love her like a 
St. Philip Neri, who was filled with consolation at the 
mere thought of Maay, and therefore called her his delight. 
Let us love her like a St. Bonaventure, who called her not 
Ofoiy his Lady and Mother, but to show the tenderness of 
his affection, even called her his heart and soul : ' Hail, 
my Lady, my Mother ; nay, even my heart, my soul ! ' * 
Let us love her like that great lover of Mary, who loved 
this his sweet Mother so much, that he called her the 
ravisher of hearts;^ and to express the ardent love 
he bore her, added: *For hast thou not ravished my 
heart, O Queen 1 ' * Let us call her our beloved, Hke a 
St. Bemardine of Sienna, who daily went to visit a devo- 
tional picture of Mary, and there, in tender colloquies with 
his Queen, declared his love ; and when asked where he 
went each day, he replied, that he went to visit his beloved. 
Let us love her like a St. Aloysius Gonzaga, whose love 
for Mary burnt so unceasingly, that whenever he heard 

^ Ave Bomina mea, mater mea; imo cor meum et anima mea.-— 5/m. can. Med' 

* O nq^tnx oordittm. — Stim. em.. Med. in SaJut. Am. 

' Nonne cor meum Domina rapuUti.— >«.Wm. am. Med, in Salve Btg, 



the sweetest name of his Mother mentioned, his heart 
was instantly inflamed and his countenance lighted up 
with a Are that was visible to all. Let us love her like a 
St. Francis Solano, who, maddened as it were (but with a 
holy madness) with love for Mary, would sing before her 
picture and accompany himself on a musical instrument, 
saying, that like worldly lovers, he serenaded his most 
sweet Queen. 

Finafly, let us love her as so many of her servants have 
loved her, and who never could do enough to show their 
love. Father Jerome of Texo, of the Society of Jesus, 
rejoiced in the name of slave of Mary ; and as a mark of 
servitude, went often to visit her in some church dedicated 
in her honour. On reaching the church, he poured out 
abundant tears of tenderness and love for Maiy ; then, 
prostrating, he licked and rubbed the pavement with his 
tongue and face, kissing it a thousand times, because it 
was the house of his beloved Lady. Father Diego Mar- 
tinez, of the same Society, who for his devotion to our 
blessed Lady on her feasts, was carried by angels to 
Heaven to see how they were kept there, used to say, 
^ Would that I had the hearts of all angels and saints, to 
love Maiy as they love her — ^would that I had the lives of 
all men, to give them all for her love ! * O that others 
could come to love her as did Charles the son of St. Bridget, 
who said that nothing in the world consoled him so much 
as the knowledge that Mary was so greatly loved by God. 
And he added, that he would willingly endure every 
torment rather than aDow Mary to lose the smallest degree 
of her glory, were such a thing possible ; and that if her 
gloiy was his, he would renounce it in her fevour, as being 
far more worthy of it. Let us moreover desire to lay 
down our lives as a testimony of our love for Mary, as 
Alphonsus Rodriguez desired it. Let us love her as did 
those who even cut the beloved name of Mary on their 
breasts with sharp instruments, as a Frances Binanzio and 
a Radagundis, wife of king Clothaire, or as did those who 
could imprint this loved name on their flesh with hot 



irons, in order that it might remain more distinct and 
lasting, as did her devout servants Baptist Archinto and 
Augustine d'Espinosa, both of the Society of Jesus, driven 
thereto by the vehemence of their love. 

Let us, in fine, do or desire to do all that it is possible 
for a lover to do, who intends to make his affection known 
to the person loved. Por be assured that the lovers of 
Mary will never be able to equal her in love. * I know, 
O Lady,' says St. Peter Damian, * that thou art most loving, 
and that thou lovest us with an invincible love.' ^ I know, 
my Lady that among those that love thee thou lovest the 
most, and that thou lovest us with a love that can never 
be surpassed. The blessed Alphonsus Eodriguez, of 
the Society of Jesus, once prostrate before an image of 
Mary, felt his heart inflamed with love towards this most 
holy "Virgin, and burst forth into the following exclama- 
tion : * My most beloved Mother, I know that thou lovest 
me, but thou dost not love me as much as I love thee.' 
Maiy, as it were offended and piqued on the point of love, 
immediately replied fi'om the image: 'What dost thou 
say, Alphonsus — ^what dost thou say ? Oh, how much 
greater is the love that I bear thee, than any love that 
thou canst have for me : know that the distance between 
heaven and earth is not so great as the distance between 
thy love and mine.' 

St. Bonaventure then was right in exclaiming : Blessed 
are they who have the good fortmie to be faithful servants 
and lovers of this most loving Mother. * Blessed are the 
hearts of those who love Mary ! Blessed are they who 
are tenderly devoted to her.' ^ Yes ! for ' in this struggle 
our most gracious Queen never allows her clients to con- 
quer her in love. She returns our Ipve and homage, 
and always increases her past favours by new ones.'^ 

^ Scio, DDmina, quia benignissima es, et nmas nos amore inviucibili. — Serm. 1 
de Nat. B.V. 

* Beati qaoram corda te diligunt, Virgo Maria— /» P^.xxxi, de B. V. Beati qui 
devote ei famulantur ! — In Ps. cxviii, de B. V. 

s Numquam tamen in hoc eximio certamine a nobis ipsa vincetur. Etenim et 
amorem et honorem redhibet, et preeteiita beneficia uovis Bempe; a dauget.— 
racchiucheUi in Ps, Uxxvi, Exit. 9. 


Mary, imitating in this our most loving Redeemer Jesus 
Christ, returns to those who love her their love doubled 
in benefits and favours. Then will I exclaim, with the 
enamoured St. Ansebn, * May my heart languish and my 
soul melt and be consumed mth your love, O my be- 
loved Saviour Jesus, and my dear Mother Mary ! But, 
as without your grace I cannot love you, grant me, O Jesus 
and Mary, grant my soul, by your merits, and not mine, 
the grace to love you as you deserve to be loved 1 O God, 
lover of men, thou coiddst love guilty men even unto 
death ! And canst thou deny thy love and that of Thy 
Mother to those who ask it ? ' ^ 


Pather Auriemma^ relates that there was a certain poor 
shepherdess, whose sole delight was to go to a little 
chapel of our Blessed Lady, situated on a mountain, and 
there, whilst her flocks browsed, converse with and 
honour her dear mother. Seeing that the little image of 
Mary (which was carved in relief was unadorned, she set 
to work to make her a mantle ; and one day, having 
gathered a few flowers in the fields, she made a garland, 
and climbing on the altar of the little chapel, placed it on 
the head of the image, saying : ' My Mother, I would 
place a crown of gold and precious stones on thy brow, 
but, as I am poor, receive this crown of flowers, and 
accept it as a mark of the love that I bear thee. With 
this and other acts of homage, the pious maiden always 
endeavored to serve and honour her beloved Lady. But 
let us now see how the good Mother on her part recom- 
pensed the visits and the affection of her child. She fell 
ill, and was brought to the point of death. It so happened 
that two religious were passing that way, and, fatigued 
with their journey, sat down under a tree to rest ; one fell 

^ Vestro continuo amore langueat cor meum : liquefiant omnia ossa mea . . 
Date itaque piissiiui, date, obsecro supplicanti animsB mese, non propter meritum 
meum, sed propter meritum vestrum, date illi quanto digni estia, amorem ves* 
trum ... amator et miserator hominum, tu potuisti reos tuos et usque ad 
mortem amare : et iwteris te roganti amorem tui et mutjis ture negare ? — In 
Jkpr. li, ad B. F. 

■ AffirtH Scamh. torn, ii, c. 8. 


asleep and the other remained awake ; but both had the 
same vision. They saw a troop of most beautiful ladies, and 
amongst these was one who in beauty and majesty far sur- 
passed them aU. One of the religious addressed himself 
to her : ' Lady who art thou, and where art thou going by 
these rugged ways ? ' 'I am,' she replied, * the Mother of 
God, and am going with these holy virgins to a neighbour- 
ing cottage to visit a dying shepherdess who has so often 
visited me.' Having said these words, all disappeared. 
At once these two good servants of God said, * Let us go 
also to see her.' They immediately started, and having 
found the cottage of the dying virgin, they entered it and 
found her stretched on a little straw. They saluted her, 
and she said, * Brothers, ask our Lord to let you see the 
company that is assisting me.' They immediately knelt, 
and saw Mary by the side of the dying girl, holding a 
crown in her hand, and consoling her. AU at once the 
vi^ins began to sing, and at the sound of this sweet 
hannony her blessed soul left her body. Mary placed the 
crown on her head, and taking her soul, led it with her to 


Lady, O ravisher of hearts ! will I exclaim with St. 
Bonaventure :^ 'O Lady, who with the love and favour 
thou showest thy servants dost ravish their hearts, ravish 
also my miserable heart, which desires ardently to love 
thee. Thou, my Mother, hast enamoured a God with thy 
beauty, and drawn Him from heaven into thy chaste womb, 
and shall I live without loving thee ? No, ' I will never 
rest until I am certain of having obtained thy love ; but 
a constant and tender love towards thee, my Mother, who 
hast loved me with so much tenderness,' ^ even when I was 
ungrateful towards thee. And what should I now be, O 
JMary, if thou hadst not obtained so many mercies for me ? 
^nce then thou didst love me so much when I loved thee 

I O Domina, quse rapis corda. — Stim. am. Med. in Salce Beg. 
* Nonquani quieacam, donee habucro tcncrum aiuorein erga matrem meam 
Mariain.-wbA» Berchmans. S. J. 



not, how much more may I not now hope from thee, now 
that I love thee ? I love thee, O my Mother, and I would 
that I had a heart to love thee in place of all those un- 
fortunate creatures who love thee not. I would that I 
could speak with a thousand tongues, that all might know 
thy greatness, thy holiness, thy mercy, and the love with 
which thou lovest all who love thee. Had I riches, I 
would employ them all for thy honour. Had I subjects, 
I would make them all thy lovers. In fine, if the occasion 
presented itself, I would lay down my life for thy glory. 
I love thee then) O my Mother ; but at the same time 
I fear that I do not love thee as I ought ; for I hear that 
love makes lovers like the person loved. If then I see 
myself so unlike thee, it is a mark that I do not love thee. 
Thou art so pure, and I defiled with many sins ! Thou 
so humble, and I so proud ! Thou so holy, and I so wicked ! 
This then is what thou hast to do, O Mary ; since thou 
lovest me, make me like thee. Thou hast all power to 
change hearts ; take then mine and change it. Show the 
world what thou canst do for those who love thee. Make 
me a Saint ; make me thy worthy child. This is my 
hope. ' 

Section IV. — Mary is the Mother of Bepentant Sinners. 

Our Blessed Lady told St. Bridget that she was the 
Mother not only of the just and innocent, but also of sin- 
ners, provided they were willing to repent.^ O how 
prompt does a sinner (desirous of amendment, and who 
flies to her feet) find this good Mother to embrace and help 
him, far more so than any earthly mother. St. Gregory the 
Seventh wrote in this sense to the princess Matilda, say- 
ing: 'Eesplve to sin no more, and I promise that un- 
doubtedly thou wilt find Mary more ready to love thee than 
any earthly mother.' ^ But whoever aspires to be a child 

1 Ego ctiam quasi sum Muter omnium peccatomm volentium se emendare. — 
Rev. IId. iv, c. 138. 

* Pone finem in voluntate peccandi, et invenies Mariam (indubitanterpromitto) 
promptjorera cnmali niatre in tui dilectione.— Lib. i, ep. 47. 


of this great Mother, must first abandon sin, and then may 
hope to be accepted as such. Eichard of St. Lawrence, 
on the words of Proverbs, " up rose her children," remarks 
that first comes * up rose ' and then children, ^ to show that 
no one can be a child of Mary without first endeavouring 
to rise from the fault into which he has fallen ; for he who 
is in mortal sin is not worthy to be called the son of such 
a Mother.' ^ And St. Peter Chrysologus says thai he who 
acts in a different manner from Mary, declares thereby that 
he will not be her son. ' He who does not the works of his 
Mother abjures his lineage.' * Mary humble, and he proud ! 
Mary pure, and he wicked 1 Mary full of love, and he 
hating his neighbour ! He gives thereby proof that he is 
not, and will not be, the son of this Holy Mother. The 
sons of Mary, says Eichard of St. Lawrence, are her imi- 
tators, and this chiefly in three things : in ' chastity, libe- 
rality, and humility ; and also in meekness, mercy, and 
such like.'* And whilst disgusting her by a wicked 
life, who would dare even to wish to be the child 
of Maiy. A certain sinner once said to Mary, * Show 
thyself a Mother;' but the Blessed Virgin replied, 
* Show thyself a son.' ^ Another invoked the Divine 
Mother, calling her the Mother of mercy, and she an- 
swered ; * You sinners, when you want any help, call me 
Mother of mercy, and at the same time do not cease by 
your sins to make me a Mother of sorrows and anguish.'® 
"He is cursed of God, "says the Ecclesiastes, "that angereth 
his mother." 7 *That is Mary,' says Eichard of St. Law- 
rence. God curses those who by their wicked life, and still 
more by their obstinacy in sin, afflict this tender Mother. 
I say by their obstinacy, for if a sinner, though he may 
not as yet have given up his sin, endeavours to do so, and 

1 Sarrexcnmt filii ejus. — Prov. xxxi, 38. 

' Nee tlignus est, qui ia luortali peccato est, vocari filius tantsB Matris. — Ik 
Jjtxid. Txrg. lib. ii, c. 5. 
' Qui genitoiiB non fadt opera, negat genus. — lb. 

* ^lii ejus (Mariee), id est miitatores, moxime in tribus, eastitatc, largitate, Uu- 
yniK^ato .... mansuetudiue, misericonlia, et hujusmodi. — lb. 

* Monstra te esse matreni .... monstra tc esse liliuni.— .^j?. Aur. 

* Ap. Felb. f 

7 Est nialedictus a Deo qui exasperat mh\Tnn.^-JScd. iii, 18. 


for this purpose seeks the help of Mary, this good mother 
will not fail to assist him, and make him recover the grace 
of God. And this is precisely what St. Bridget heard one 
day from the lips of Jesus Christ, who, speaking to his 
Mother, said, * Thou assistest him who endeavours to return 
to God, and thy consolations are never wanting to any 
one.'^ So long, then, as a sinner is obstinate, Mary can- 
not love him ; but if he (finding himself chained by some 
passion which keeps him a slave of hell) recommends him- 
self to the Blessed Yirgin, and implores her, with confidence 
and perseverance, to withdraw him from the state of sin in 
which he is, there can be no doubt but this good Mother will 
extend her powerftd hand to him, will deliver him from 
his chains, and lead him to a state of salvation. The doctrine 
that all prayers and works performed in a state of sin, are sins, 
was condemned as heretical by the sacred Council of Trent. 
St. Bernard says, that although prayer in the mouth of a 
sinner is devoid of beauty, on account of its being unac- 
companied by charity, nevertheless, it is useful, and obtains 
grace to abandon sin ; for, as St. Thomas teaches,^ the 
prayer of a sinner, though without merit, is an act which 
obtains the grace of forgiveness, since the power of impe- 
tration is founded not on the merits of him who asks, but 
on the divine goodness, and the merits and promises of 
Jesus Christ, who has said, "Every one that asketh 
receiveth."^ The same thing must be said of prayers 
offered to the divine Mother. * K he who prays,* says St. 
Anselm, * does not merit to be heard, the merits of the 
Mother, to whom he recommends himself, will intercede 
effectually.' * Therefore, St. Bernard exhorts all sinners 
to have recourse to Mary, invoking her with great confi- 
dence ; for though the sinner does not himself merit the 
graces which he asks, yet he receives them, because this 

1 Conanti surgere ad Deum tribtiis auxilium, et neniinem rclinqnis vacuum a 
consolatione tua. — ^Lib. iv, c. 19. 
« 3, 2, qu. 178 ; a, 2, ad 1. 

* Oninis enim qui petit, accipit. — Luc. xi, 10. 

* Etsi merita invocantis non raerentur, ut exaudiatur : luerita tamen Matris 
intercedunt, ut exaudiatur— Xfe Exc, Virg. c. vi. 



'Blessed Yirgin asks and obtains them from God, on 
account of her own merits. These are his words addressing 
a sinner : * Because thou wast unworthy to receive the 
grace thyself, it was given to Mary, in order that, through 
her, thou mightest receive all.'i * If a mother, ' continues 
the same Saint, ' knew that her two sons bore a mortal 
enmity to one another, and that each plotted against the 
other's life, would she not exert herselJf to her utmost, in 
order to reconcile them ? This would be the duty of a good 
mother ! And thus it is,' the Saint goes on to say, 
that Maiy acts ; for she is the Mother of Jesus, and the 
Mother of men. When she sees a sinner at enmity with 
Jesus Christ, she cannot endure it, and does all in her 
power to make peace between them. O happy Mary, 
thou art the Mother of the criminal, and the Mother of 
the judge ; and being the Mother of both, they are thy 
children, and thou canst not endure discords amongst 
them.' ^ This most benign Lady only requires that the 
sinner should recommend himself to her, and purpose 
amendment. When Mary sees a sinner at her feet, 
imploring her mercy, she does not consider the crimes 
with which he is loaded, but the intention with which he 
comes : and if this is good, even should he have com- 
mitted all possible sins, the most loving Mother^embraces 
him, and does not disdain to heal the wounds of his 
soul ; for she is not only caUed the Mother of Mercy, but 
is so truly and indeed, and shows herself such by the love 
and tenderness with which she assists us all. Aiid this is 
precisely what the Blessed Virgin herself said to St. Bridget: 
* However much a man sins, I am ready immediately to 
receive him when he repents ; nor do I pay attention to 
the number of his sins, but only to the intention with 
which he comes ; I do not disdain to anoint and heal his 

^ Quia indignns eras, cui donaretur, datum est Mariee, ut per illam acciperes 
qoicGuid haberes. — Serm. 3 in viff. Nat. 

* felix Maria, tu mater rei, tu mater judicis : cum sis mater utriusque, discor* 
dias inter tuos lUios nequis sostinere. — In Dcpr. adV.\ 


wounds ; for I am called, and truly am, the Mother of 

Mary is the Mother of sinners who wish to repent, and 
as a Mother she cannot do otherwise than compassionate 
them; nay more, she seems to feel the miseries of her 
poor children as if they were her own. When the 
Ganaanitish woman begged our Lord to deliver her daugh- 
ter from the devil who possessed her, she said, " Have 
mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David, my daughter is 
grievously troubled by a devil." ^ But since the daugh- 
ter, and not the mother, was tormented, she should rather 
have said, ' Lord' take compassion on my daughter; and 
not. Have mercy on me ; but no, she said, * Have mercy on 
me,' and was right ; for the sufferings of children are felt 
by their mothers as if they were their own. And it is 
precisely thus, says Eichard of St. La^vrence, that Mary 
prays to God when she recommends a sinner to him who 
has had recourse to her ; she cries out for the sinful soul, 
'Have mercy on meT ^ *My Lord,' she seems to say, 'this 
poor soul that is in sin, is my daughter, and therefore, 
pity, not so much her, as me, who am her Mother.' Would 
that aU sinners had recourse to this sweet Mother ; for 
then certainly all woidd be pardoned by God ! ' O Mary,' 
exclaims St. Bonaventure, in raptui'ous astonishment, 
' thou embracest with maternal affection a sinner despised 
by the whole world, nor dost thou leave him imtil thou 
hast reconciled the poor creature with his judge ;' * mean- 
ing, that the sinner whilst in a state of sin is hated and 

1 Ego qountumcumque homo peccat, si ex toto corde et vera emendationc ad 
me reversus fuerit, statim parata sum recipere revertentem. Nee attendo quan- 
txrni peccaverit, sed cum quali intentione et voluntate redit. — 'ELet. 1. ii, c. 23. 
Quicnnque mvocaverit mc, ^o non dedignor tangere, et ungere, et sanare pla- 

Sas w^^.—Rev. 1. vi, c. 117. Ego vocor ab omnibus mater miscricordice, vere 
lia, misericordia Klii meiiecit me misericordem. — .R<w. 1. ii, c. 23. 

3 Miserere mei, Domine, lili David; lilia mea male a daemonio Texator.— 
Mattk. XV, 23. 

3 Quee clamat ad Deum pro fllia, id est peccatrice anima, cigus etiam personam 
misencorditer in se transformat, dicens, Miserere mei, fiU David. — De Laud. B. V. 
1. vi, c. 9. 

♦ Maria, tu peccatorem toti mundo dcspectum matemo affectu complecteris, 
foves, uec deseris, quousque borrendo judici miserum reconcilies. — In Spec, B. V. 
lect. V. 


loathed by all, even by inanimate creatures ; fire, air, and 
earth would chastise him, and avenge the honour of their 
outraged Lord. But if this unhappy creature flies to Mary, 
will Mary reject him ? Oh, no : provided he goes to her 
for help, and in order to amend, she will embrace him 
with the affection of a mother, and wiU not let him go, 
tmtil, by her powerful intercession, she has reconciled liim 
with Grod, and reinstated him in grace. 

In the second book of Kings ^ we read that a wise 
woman of Thecua addressed King David in the following 
words : "My Lord, I had two sons, and for my misfortune, 
one killed the other; so that I have now lost one, and 
justice demands the other, the only one that is left ; take 
compassion on a poormother,and let me not be thus deprived 
of both." David, moved with compassion towards the 
mother, declared that the delinquent should be set at liberty, 
and restored to her. Mary seems to say the same thing 
when God is indignant against a sinner who has recom- 
mended himself to her. *My God,' she says, *I had two 
sons, — Jesus and man ; man took the life of my Jesus on 
the cross, and now thy justice would condenm the guilty 
one. O Lord ! my Jesus is already dead, have pity on 
me, and if I have lost the one, do not make me lose the 
other also.' And most certainly God wiU not condemn 
those sinners who have recourse to Mary, and for whom 
she prays, since he himself commended them to her as her 
children. The devout Lanspergius sut)poses our Lord 
speaking in the following terms: ' I reconmiended all, but 
especially sinners, to Mary as her children, and therefore is 
she so diligent and so careful in the exercise of her oihce, 
that she allows none of those committed to her charge, and 
especially those who invoke her, to perish ; but as far as she 
can, brings all to me.' ^ 'And who can ever tell,* says the 

1 2 Reff. c. xiv. 

* Manee .... omncs, potissime autem peccatores, in persona Joannis in Alios 
<<*oinmendavi .... Propterea adeo est diligens suleo sedola, ut ofilcio suo satis- 
fadens, neminem eorum, quantum in se est qui, sibi commissi sunt, prsscipue se 
invocantium, porire unat, sed, quantiuu vale^ omnea mOii reducat. — Lib. i, Alioq. 
Can. 12. 


devout Blosiufi, 'the goodness, the mercy, the compa$&R)n, 
the love, the benignity, the clemency, the fidelity, the b€toe- 
voleBice, the cliarity of thia Virgin Mother towards men ? It 
is such that no words can express it.'^ * Let us then,' says 
St. Bernard, * cast ourselves at the feet of this good Mother, 
and embracing them, let us not depart untU she blesses 
us, and thus accepts us for her children.'^ And who can 
ever doubt the compassion of this Mother? St. BonaTcnture 
used to say, * Even should she take my life, I would still 
hope in her ; and, full of confidence, would desire to die 
before her image, and be certain of salvation.'^ And thus 
should each sinner address her when he has recourse to 
this compassionate Mothrar : he should say. My Lady and 
Mother, on account of my sins I deserve that thou shouldst 
reject me, and even that thou shouldst thyself chastise me 
according to my deserts ; but shouldst thou reject me, or 
even take my life, I wiU still trust in thee, and hope with 
a firm hope that thou wilt save me. In thee is all my 
confidence ; only grant me the consolation of dying before 
thy picture, recommending myself to thy mercy, and then 
I am convinced that I shall not be lost, but that I shall 
go and praise thee in heaven, in company with so many 
of thy servants who left this world calling on thee for 
help, and have all been saved by thy powerful intercession.' 
Bead the following example, and then say, if any sinner 
can doubt of the mercy and love of this good Mother. 


Belluacensis relates, that, in an English city, about the 
year 1430, there was a young nobleman, called Ernest, who, 
haying distributed the whole of his patrimony to the poor, 
became a monk, and in the monastery to which he retired 
led so perfect a life, that he was highly esteemed by his 

^ Hnjus Virginis Matris bonitas, misericoidia, pietas, amicitia, benignitas, de- 
mentia* fidelitas, benevolentia, et caritas erga homines tanta est, ut nuUii verbis 
explicari j^ssit. — Sac. An.jid. P. iii, c. 6. 

'* Beatis ilfins pedibus provolvamur. Teneamus earn, nee dimittamns, donee 
benedixerit nobis. — In Sig. Magn. 

' Etiamsi occiderit me, spernbo in eanii et totus confidens juxtA ^}cuiin|iiginen: 
mori desidero, et salvus ero. t 


su))enors, and this esteem was greatly increiised by their 
knowledge of his tender devotion to the most Blessed 
Virgin. It happened that the city was attacked by the 
plague, and the inhabitants had recourse to the monasteiy, 
in Qrder that the religious might help them by their prayers. 
The abbot commanded Ernest to go and pray before the 
altar of Mary, forbidding him to leave it until he should 
have received an answer from om* Blessed Lady. The young 
man, after remaining for three days in prayer^ received an 
answer from Mary to the ejffect, that certain prayers were 
to be said : this was done, and the plague ceased. After a 
time Ernest cooled in his devotion towards Mary : the devil 
attacked him with many temptations, and particidarly with 
those against purity, and also to leave his monastery. Prom 
not having recommended himself to Mary, he unfortunately 
yielded to the temptation, and resolved to escape by climbing 
over a wall. Passing before an image of Mary which was 
in the corridor, the Mother of God addressed him, saying, 
* My son, why dost thou leave me ? ' Ernest, thunderstruck 
and repentant, sunk to the ground, and replied, ' But, Lady, 
dost thou not see that I can no longer resist, why dost thou 
not assist me ?' ' And why hast thou not invoked me ? * 
said our Blessed Lady. *K thou hadst recommended 
thyself to me, thou wouldst not have fallen so low ; but 
from henceforth do so and fear nothing.' Ernest returned 
to his cell, his temptations recommenced, again he neglected 
to recommend himself to Mary, and at last fled from his 
monastery. He then gave himself up to a most wicked 
life, fell from one sin into another, and at length became 
an assassin ; for having hired an inn, during the night he 
used to murder the poor travellers who slept there. Amongst 
others, he one night killed the cousin of the governor of the 
place. For this crime he was tried and sentenced to death. 
It so happened that before he was made a prisoner, and 
whilst evidence was being collected, a young nobleman 
arrived at the inn. The mcked Ernest, as usual, deter- 
mined to murder him, and entered the room at night for 
this purpose — ^but lo ! instead of finding the young man, 



he beheld a crucifix on the bed, all covered "with wounds. 
The image cast a look of compassion on him, and exclaimed, 
* ungrateful wretch ! Is it not enotogh that I have died 
onfee for thee ! Wilt thou again take my life ? Be it so. 
Eaise thy hand, — strike ! ' Filled with confusion, poor 
Ernest began to weep, and sobbing, said, ' Behold me. 
Lord ' since thou shoWest me such mercy, I will return to 
thee.* Immediately he lefk the inn, to return to his monas- 
tery, there to do penance for his cfimes ; but on the road 
he was taken by the ministers of justice, was led before the 
judge,' and acknowledged all the murders he had coiti- 
mitted. He was sentenced to be hung, without having 
even the time given him to go to confession. He recom- 
mended himself to Mary, and was thrown from the ladder ; 
but the Blessed Yirgin preserved his life, and she herself 
loosened the rope, and then addressed him, saying, * Go, 
return to thy monastery, do penance, and when thou seest 
a paper in my hands, announcing the pardon of thy sins, 
prepare for death. Ernest returned, related all to his abbot, 
and did great penance. After many years, he saw the 
paper in the hands of Mkty, which announced Ms pardon ; 
lie immediately prepared for death, and in a most holy 
Inanner breathed forth his soul. 


O my sovereign Queen and worthy mother Of my God, 
most holy Mary : I, seeing myself, as I do, so despicable, 
and loaded with so many sins, ought riot to presume to 
call thee Mother^ or feven to approach thee ; yet I will not 
allow my miseries to deprive ine of the consolation and 
confidence that I feel in calling thee Mother ; I know well 
that I deserve that thou shouldst reject me ; but I beseech 
thee to remember all that thy son Jesus has endured fot 
me, and then reject me if thou canst. I am a wretched 
sinner, who,- more than all others, have despised the 
infinite majesty of God : but the evil is done. To thee 
have I recourse; thou canst help me: my Mother, help 
me* Say not that thou canst not do so ; for I know that 


thou art all powerful, and that thou obtainest whatever 
thou desirest of God ; and if thou sayest that thou wilt 
not help me, teU me at least to whom I can apply in this 
my so great misfortune. Either pity me, will I say, with 
the devout St. Anselm, ' O, my Jesus, and forgive me, or 
do thou pity me, my mother Mary, by interceding for me, 
or at least tell me to whom I can have recourse, who is 
more compassionate, or in whom I can have greater con- 
fidence than in thee.' ^ Oh, no ; neither on earth, nor in 
heaven, can I find any one who has more compassion for 
the miserable, or who is better able to assist me, than 
thou canst, O Mary. Thou, O Jesus, art my Father, and 
thou, Mary, art my Mother. You ]both love the most 
miserable, and go seeking them in order to save them. I 
deserve hell and am the most miserable of all. But you 
need not seek me, jior do I presume to ask so much. I 
now prese^t myself before you with a certain hope that 
I shall not be abandoned. Behold me at your feet j my Jesus, 
forgive me ; niy Mother Mary, help me. 

1 Antmiseremini miseri, tu parcendo, tu intervenie&do ; aut ostendite, ad quos 
tutias fogiani misericordiores : et monstrate, in quibtts certiuB confidam poten- 
tiores ? — In Depr. L. adB.V. 





Section I. — Mm^ ia our Life, became she obtains us tlie 

Pardon of our Sins, 

tS?0 understand why the holy Church makes us call Mary 
^^ our life, we must know, that as the soul gives life to 
the body, so does Divine grace give life to the soul ; for a 
soul without grace has the name of being alive, but is in 
truth dead, as it was said of one in the Apocalypse, " Thou 
hast the name of being alive, and thou art dead." ^ Mary 
then, in obtaining this grace for sinners by her intercession, 
thus restores them to life. See how the Church makes 
lier speak, applying to her the following words of Pro- 
verbs : " They that in the morning early watch for me, 
shall find me." ^ They who are diligent in having recourse 
to me in the morning, that is, as soon as they can, will 
most certainly find. me. In the Septuagint, the words 
" shall find me" are rendered " shall find grace." So that 
to have recourse to Mary is the same thing as to find the 
grace of God. A little further on she says, " He that shall 
find me, shall find life, and shall have salvation from the 
Lord." ^ ' Listen,* exclaims St. Bonaventure on these 
words, ' listen, all you who desire the kingdom of God ; 
honour the most Blessed Virgin Mary, and you will find 
life and eternal salvation.' * 

St. Bemardine of Sienna says, that if God did not 
destroy man after his first sin, it was on account of his 

1 Nomen habes quod vivas, et mortuus es. — Jpoc. iii, 1. 

* Qui mane vigiltint ad me, invenicnt me. — Prov. viii, 17. 

■ Qui me invenerit, inveniet vitam, ct hauriet snlutcm a Domino. — Pror. viii, 33. 

* Audite .... qui ingredi cupitis regnum Dei : Virgineni Mariam houoratc, ct 
invcnietis vitam et salntem perpetuam. — In Ps. .\lviii, B, V. 


singular love for this holy Virgin, who was destined to be 
bom of this race. And the Saint adds, ' that he has no 
doubt but that all the mercies granted by God under the 
old dispensation were granted only in consideration of this 
most Blessed Lady.'^ Hence St. Bernard was right in ex- 
horting us * to seek for grace, and to seek it by Mary ;* ^ 
meaning, that if we have had the misfortune to lose the 
grace of God, we should seek to recover it, but we should 
do so by Mary, for though we may have lost it, she has 
fonnd it ; and hence the Saint calls her * the finder of 
grace *^ The angel Gabriel expressly declared this for 
our consolation, when he saluted the Blessed Virgin, saying 
" Pear not Mary ; thou hast found grace."* But if Mary 
had never been deprived of grace, how could the archangel 
say that she had then found it ? A thing may be found 
by a person who did not previously possess it ; but we are 
told by the same archangel, that the Blessed Virgin was 
always with God, always in grace, nay, fuU of grace. ** Hail, 
fuU of grace, the Lord is with thee."^ Since Mary then 
did not find grace for herself, she being always full of it, 
for whom did she find it ? Cardinal Hugo, in his com- 
mentary on the above text, replies that she found it for 
sinners who had lost it. 'Let sinners then,' says this 
devout writer, ' who by their crimes have lost grace, ad- 
dress themselves to the Blessed Virgin ; for with her they 
wiU surely find it; let them humbly salute her, and say 
with confidence, ' Lady, that which has been found must 
be restored to him who has lost it ; restore us, therefore, 
our property which thou hast found.* ^ On this subject, 
Bichard of St. Lawrence concludes, * That if we hope to 
recover the grace of God, we must go to Mary who, has 

I OmneBlibertatioiies et indalgentiaB factafl in Veteri Testamento, non ambi^ 
Deum fecisse propter hiqus benedictse PaellsB reverentiani et amorein.— -Tom. iv, 
Serm. 9, de B. V. c. 8. 

' Qnaeramas gratiam, et per Mariam qiueramtis.--^(7nn. d» Afuad. 

* Inventrix gratiae. — ite adv. D. Serm. 3. 

* Ne tuneas, Maria; inrenisti enim giatiam. — Lue. i, SO. 

* Ave, gratia plena; Dominna tecum. — Lwe. i, 28. 

* Currant igitnr peccatores ad Viivinem, qni gratiiam amiawunt peccando, et 
earn inrenlent apnd earn liumiliter salutando, et secnre cUcant, Bcdde nobis rem 
noatram, quam mvenisti. — In cap. i, Zwc. 

5 § 


found it, and finds it always/ ^ And as she always was 
and always will be dear to God, if we have leooiurse to 
her, we shall certainly succeed. Again Maiy says, in the 
eighth chapter of the sacred Canticles, that (xod has placed 
b^ in the world to be our defence : '' I am a wall : and 
my breasts are as a tower." And she is trubr made a 
mediatress of peace between sinners and God : " Since I 
am become in His presence as one finding peace." ^ On 
these words St. Bernard encourages sinners, saying, ' Go 
to this Mother of ^lercv, and show her the wounds whidi 
thy sins hare left on thy soul ; then will she certainly en- 
treat her Son, by the breasts that gave him suck, to par- 
don thee all. And this Divine Son, who loves her so 
tenderly, will most certainly grant her petition.' ^ In this 
sense it is that the holy Church, in her almost daily prayer 
calls upon us to beg our Lord to grant us the powerful 
help of the intercession of Mary to rise from our sins : 
' Grant thy help to our weakness, O most merciful God ; 
and that we, who are mindful of the holy Mother of Grod, 
may by the help of her intercession rise from our iniquities.^ 
With reason then does St. Lawrence Justinian call her * the 
hope of malefactors;' since she alone is the one who 
obtains them pardon from Grod. With reason does St. 
Bernard call her *■ the sinners' ladder ;' since she, the most 
compassionate Queen, extending her hand to them, draws 
them from an abyss of sin, and enables them to ascend to 
God. With reason does an ancient writer call her * the 
only hope of sinners ;' for by her help alone can we hope 
for the remission of our sins.^ St. John Chrysostom also 
says ' that sinners receive pardon by the intercession of 

1 Cnpientes invenire gratiam, qaaeramiis Inventrirem ^;ratiflc Mariam que, 
qraa semper invenit, fmstrah non potent — Tk Laud. F. L ii, c. 5. 

' Ego nrama : et nbera men sicat turns, ex qno fecta Bma coram eo quasi 
pacem reperiens. — Cant, yiii, 10. 

3 Vade ad Matrem luiserioordiae, et ostende iUi tuomm plagas peccatomm; ct 
ilia ostendet pro te nbera. Exaudiet uti^ue Matrem FOius. t 

^ Conredc, miaerirnrs Dcus, fragilitati iiostrae pnesidhmi ; ut qui sanctie Dei 
Genetricis memoriam agimus, intcrcessionis ejus auxilio a nostns iniquitatibus 

* To e« spes unica pcccatornm, quia jier tc speranius veniam ordnium delic- 
tOTtnn. — Int. Oft. S A't^vstini, Srrm. cxciv, de Sanctis. 


Mary alone.' ^ And therefore the Saint, in the name of 
all sinners, thus addresses her : ' Hail Mother' of Grod and 
of us all, * heaven,' where God dwells, * throne,' from which 
our Lord dispenses all graces, 'fair daughter, Virgin, 
honour, glory, and firmament of our Church, assiduously 
pray to Jesus that in the day of judgment we may find 
mercy through thee, and receive the reward prepared by 
God for those who love Him.' ^ 

With reason, finally, is Mary called; in the words of the 
sacred Canticles, the Dawn ; " Who is she that cometh 
forth as the morning rising ?" ^ Yes, says Pope Innocent ; 
for ' as the dawn is the end of night, and the beginning 
of day, well may the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was the 
end of vices, be called the dawn of day.' * When devotion 
towards Mary begins in a soul, it produces the same effect 
that the birth of this most Holy Virgin produced in the 
world. It puts an end to the night of sin, and leads the 
soul into the path of virtue. Therefore, St. Germanus 
says, * O Mother of God, thy protection never ceases, 
thy intercession is life, and thy patronage never fails.' ^ 
And in a sermon, the same Saint says, that to pro- 
nounce the name of Mary with affection is a sign of life 
in the soul, or at least that life wiU soon return there. 

We read, in the Gx)spel of St. Luke, that Mary said, 
''Behold from henceforth all generations shall call me 
blessed." • 'Yes, my Lady,' exclaims St. Bernard, 'all 
generations shall call thee blessed, for thou hast begotten 
life and glory for aU generations of men. '7 For this cause 
all men shall call thee blessed, for all thy servants obtain 

^ Per hanc et peccatomm veniam consequimur. — S.Joan. Chrysost. ap. Metaph. 
Brev. Rom. In (M. Nat. B. M. die 5. 

* Ave isitiir, Mater, Coeluin, Fuella, Virgo, Thronus, Ecclesiee nostne Decns, 
(jloria, et mrmamentum ; aasidue pro nobis precare Jesuiu,'utper te misericordiam 
inrcnire in die judicii, et qiue repoaita sunt iis, qui dUiguut Deum, bona consequi 

possimus. — lb 

* Quse est ista, quee progreditur quasi Aurora consurgens ? — Cant, vi, 9. 

* Cum Aurora sit finis noctis, et ori^ diei, merito per auroram designatur 
Virgo Maria, quae finis damnationis et ongo salutis fuit. — Senn. 3, de Au. B. V. 

* Adhuc tuum viget pnesidinm ; et vita tua, est intercessio ; tuumque nun- 
qwun deficit patrocinium.— /m Dorm. Bex Gen. Oral. ii. 

> Ecce enini ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes. — Lhc. i, 48. 
7 Ex hoc beatam te dicent omnes generationes, quee omnibus generationibus 
Titam et gloriam genuisti.— iS!frm 3, in Penlec. 


through tliec the life of grace and eternal glory. * In thee do 
sinners iind pardon, and the just perseyerance and eternal 
Hfe.i ' Distrust not, O sinner/ says the deTont Bemardine 
de Busto, ' eyen if thou hast committed aH possible sins : 
go with confidence to this most glorious Lady, and thou 
wilt find her hands filled with mercy and bounty.' And, 
he adds, for 'she desires more to do thee good than thou 
canst desire to receive favours from her.' ^ 

St. Andrew of Oete calls Mary the pledge of Divine 
mercy ;3 meaning that, when sinners have recourse to 
Mary, that they may be reconciled with God, He 
assures them of pardon and gives them a pledge of it ; 
and this pledge is Mary, whom He has bestowed upon us 
for our advocate, and by whose intercession (in virtue of 
the merits of Jesus Christ), God forgives all who have 
recourse to her. St. Bridget heard an angel say, that the 
holy Prophets rejojced in knowing that God, by the 
humility and purity of Mary, was to be reconciled with 
sinners, and to receive those who had offended him to 
favour. • They exulted fore-knowing that our Lord himself 
wdidd be appeased by thy humility, and the purity of thy 
life, O Mary, thou super-effulgent star, and that He would 
be reconciled with those who had provoked His Wrath.' * 

No sinner, having recourse to the compassion of Mary, 
should fear being rejected; for she is the Mother of Mettjy, 
and as such, desires to save the most miserable. Mary is 
that happy ark, says St. Bernard, *in which those who take 
refage will never suffer the shipwreck of eternal perdition.''* 

1 In te jnsti gratiam, peccatorea veniam, invenerunt in ffitemum. — Serm. 2, 
i» Pentee. 

* . . .peccatoijbonom nontm; opeccatiix, optimum novum, nondiffidas, non 
rtcsperes, etianisi commisisti omnia peccata enormia : scd confidenter et sccnlre ad 
istala gloriosiBsimam Bominam recurras. Invenies enim earn in manilras plenam 
rarialitat^ pietate, nusericordia, gratiositate, et Iarg:itate. Plus enini desiderat ipsa 
I'acere tibi bonum, et largiri aliouam gratiam, quam tn accipere concupiacas.— 
3lbtnal. P. ii, Serm. 5, dn Nat. B. V. 

8, Per eam nobis obstricta sunt salutis pi^ora. — In B. V. M. Jkmn. Serm. S. 

* Ktiilf abant antem prsetooscentes, quod ipse legum Dictator et Bominus ex tua 
Ininulitate, et tuBc vitse puritate, o Maria Stella prajfolgida, placaretur, et qnod 
reciperet eos in suam gratiam, qiii ipsum ad iram provocaverant. — Senn. Aug. 
cap. ix, 

* Sicnt enim per ilkm (jipcam) omnea evaserunt dilnviiim, sic per istam peccati 
naufragium. — Serm. de B. Maria. 


At the time of the deluge, even brutes were saved in Noah's 
ark. Under the mantle of Mary, even sinners obtain sal- 
vation. St. Gertrude once saw Mary with her mantle 
extended, and under it many wild beasts — lions, bears, and 
tigers — had taken refuge; and she remarked that Mary not 
only did not reject, but even welcomed and caressed them 
with the greatest tenderness. The Saint understood hereby 
that the most abandoned sinners who have recourse to 
MvLTy, are not only not rejected, but that they are wel- 
comed and saved by her from eternal death. Let us then 
enter this ark, let us take reftige under the mantle of Mary, 
and she most certainly will not reject us, but will secure 
our salvation. 


Father Bovio ^ relates that there was a wicked woman, 
named Ellen, who entered a church, and by chance heard 
a sermon on the Rosary. On leaving the church she pur- 
chased a set of beads, but wore them concealed, as she did 
not wish it to be known that she had them. She began 
to recite them, and though she did so without devotion, 
our most blessed Lady poured such sweetness and consola- 
tion into her soul during the whole time, that she could not 
cease repeating the Hail Marys. At length she was filled 
with such a horror for her wicked life, that she no longer 
could find repose, and was obliged to go to confession ; 
and she accomplished this duty with such contrition, that 
the priest was filled with astonishment. After her confes- 
sion, she went to the foot of an altar of the most Blessed 
Virgin, and there, as a thanksgiving to her advocate, said 
the Rosary. The Divine Mother then addressed her from 
the Image in the following words: 'Ellen, thou hast 
already offended God and me too much; from this moment 
change thy life, and I will bestow a large share of my 
graces upon thee.' The poor sinner, in the deepest con- 
fusion, replied : * Ah ! most Holy Virgin I it is true that 
hitherto I have been a wicked sinner ; but thou canst do 

I Ss.deUaSS.r.f 


all, help me : on my part I abandon myself to thee, and 
will spend the whole remainder of my life in doing penance for 
my sins.' With the assistance of Mary, she distributed all 
her goods to th|e poor, and began a life of rigorous morti- 
iication. She was tormented with dreadfal temptations, 
but constantly recommended herself to the l^other of God, 
and thus was always victorious. She was favoured with 
many extraordinary graces, with visions, revelations, and 
even the gift of prophecy. Finally, before her death, 
which was announcjed to her by Mary, some days before 
it j^ook place, the most Blessed Virgin came herself, 
with her Divine Son, to visit her ; and when she expired, 
her soul was seen flying towards Heaven, in the form of a 
beautiful dove. 


Behold, O Mother of my God, my only hope, Mary, 
behold at thy feet a miserable sinner, who asks thee foT 
mercy. Thou art proclaimed and called by the whole 
Ghurdi, and by all the faithful, the refuge of sinni^rs. 
Thou art consequently my refuge, thou hast to save 
me. Thou knowest, most sweet Mother of God, how 
much thy Blessed Son desires our salvation.^ Thou 
knowest all that Jesus Ghrist endured for this end. I 
present thee, O my Mother, the sufferings of Jesus ; the 
cold he endured in the stable, his journey into Egypt, his 
toils, his sweat, the blood he shed ; the anguish which 
caused his death on the cross, and of which thou wast 
thyself a witness. Oh! show that thou lovest thy beloved 
Son, and by this love I implore thee to assist me. Extend 
thy hand to a poor creature, who has fallen, and asks thy 
help. Were I a Saint, I need not seek thy mercy ; but 
because lam a sinner, I fly to thee, who art the Mother of 
Mercies. I know that thy compassionate heart flnds its 
consolation in assisting the miserable, when thou canst do 
so, and dost not find them obstinate. Console then thy 
compassionate heart, and console me this day;- for now 

^ Tu . . . scis dulcissima Dei Mater, super omnes an^elos et homines nostl 
quantum placeat benedicto Filio tuo salus nostra. — Gutllelmtts, Avemm. Rhet. 
JHt. cap. xviii. 


thoxi hast the opportunity of sarag a poor creature con- 
demned to hell ; and thou canst do so, for I will not be 
obstinate. I abandon myself into thy hands, only tell me 
what thou wouldst have me to do, and obtain me strength 
to execute it, for I am resolved to do all that depends on 
me to recover the Divine Grace. I take refuge under thy 
mantle. Jesus wills that I should have recourse to thee, 
in order not only that his blood may save me, but also 
that thy prayers may assist me in this gi'eat work ; for 
thy glory, and for His own, since thou art his Mother. 
He sends me to thee, that thou mayst help me. O Mary, 
see, I have recourse to thee ; in thee do I confide. Thoii 
prayest for so many others, pray also for me ; say only a 
word. Tell our Lord that thou wiliest my salvation, and 
God will certainly save me. Say that I am thine, and 
then I have obtained all that I ask, all that I desire. 

Section II. — Mary is also our Life, because she obtains 

us Perseverance, 

Final perseverance is so great a gift of God, that (as it 
was declared by the Holy Council of Trent) it is qidte 
gratuitous on His part, and we cannot rnerit it. Yet we 
are told by Saint Augustine, that all who seek for it 
obtain it from God; and, according to Father Suarez, 
they obtain it infallibly, if only they are diligent in asking 
for it to the end of their lives. For, as Bellannin well 
remarks, Hhat which is daily required must be asked for 
every day.'^ Now, if it is true (and I hold it as certain, 
according to the now generally received opinion, and which 
I shall prove in the Fourth Chapter of this work) that aU 
the graces that God dispenses to men, pass by the hands 
of Mary, it wiU be equally true that it is only through 
Mary that we can hope for this greatest of all graces, — 
perseverance. And we shall obtain it most certainly, if we 
always seek it with confidence through ^Mary. This grace 

I Qnotidie petenda eat, nt (luotidie obtineatur. t 

60 or ft UF£) OU& SW£biy£SS. 

she lierself .piomi3es to ail wuo stne her faithfiiBy 4«v^9£ 
life, in the following words of Ecdesiadticus ; and whipH: 
are applied to her by the Church, on the Peast of k^ 
Immaculate Conception: " Thej that work by me shall o^ 
sin. They that explain me diall hare life everlas^iug," } 

In order that we may be preserved in the life of gr^fi^y. 
we require spiritual fortitude, to resist the many eoeinie^ 
of our salvation. Now this fortitude can be obtained only 
by the means of Maiy, and we are assured of it in tlui 
book of Proverbs, for the Church appUes the passage ip 
this most Blessed Yirgin. " Strength is mine; by n^ 
kings reign." ^ Meaning, by the words, "strength is 
mine," that God has bestowed this precious gifl on Maiy, 
in order that she may dispense it to her faithful clients. 
And by Uie words, "By me kings reign," she signifies 
that by her means her servants reign over and command 
their senses and passions, and thus become worthy to 
reign etemally in heaven. Oh, what strength do the 
servants of this great Lady possess, to overcome all the 
assaults of hell! Maiy is that tower spoken of in the 
sacred Canticles : " Thy neck is as the tower of Davids 
which is built with bulwarks ; a thousand bncklers hang 
upon it, all the armour of valiant men." ^ She is as a 
well-defended fortress in defence of her lovers, who in 
their wars have recourse to her. Li her do hex dien^ 
find aU shields and anns, to defend themselves i^gamst 

And for the same reason the most Blessed Yirgin ia 
called a plane-tree in the words of Ecdesiasticus: " As a 
plane-tree by the waters in the streets was I exalted." ^ 
Cardinal Hugo explains them, and says that the ' plane-tree 

has leaves like shields,' ^ to show how Mary defends aU who 


1 Qui 4q)«nntar in me, boh peecalmiL Qni etacidaat me, vitam tt(«mam 

haiiehmii.—Eceles. xxiv, 30, 31. 

* Mm eat fortitaido. Per me teges regnaut Pjrov. via, 14^ 15. In fesia 
S. Maria ad Nives. 

3 Sicnt tnnris David cudlnm tnnm, qam tedifieata est com propoimacalis: mille 
chrpei pendent ex ea, omnis armatora fortiom. — CauL iv, 4. 

* Quasi platenns exaltata turn joxta aifaam in jMaB.-^XeeL xnw, 19. 
Flatanus . . . haJbet moUia folia, scutis siniilia.— /» Eccl. cap. x-\iv. • •' 

take'^f^gc'wfth kcfr. Blessed Amedeus gites anbtlielf 
e^^plttirtitltrti, and s^ys that this holy Virgin is called apktie- 
tri^i' b^kiafa^, as the plane shelters travellers under its 
bmncives'fronbi the heat of the sun and from the rain, so do 
men fiadi^tijge under the nmntleof Mary from the ardoui* 
of tliteiil? passions and from the fury of temptations.* Truly 
are tfhtaf^e souls to be pitied who abandon this defence, in 
ceasing -tfjteir devotion to Mary, and no longer recommend- 
infg' themselves to her in the time of danger ! If the sun 
ceased to rise, says St. Bernard, how could the world be- 
come other than a chaos of darkness and horror P And ap- 
pl^ng his question to Mary, he repeats it. * Take away the 
sun, and where will be the day? Take away Mary, and what 
will be left but the darkest night P'^ When a soul loses 
devotion- to Mary it is immediately enveloped in darkness, 
and in that darkness of whfSk the Holy Ghost speaks in the 
Psalms : "Thou hast appointed darkness, and it is night ; 
in it shall all the beasts of the woods go about." ^ When 
the light of heaven ceases to shine in a soul, all is dark- 
ness, and it becomes the haunt of devils and of every sin. 
Saint Anselm says, that * if any one is disregarded and 
contemned by Mary, he is necessarily lost ;' * and therefore 
we- may with reason exclaim. Woe to those who are in oppo- 
sition with this sun ! Woe to those who despise its light, 
thsiis to say, all who despise devotion to Mary. St. Francis 
Borgia always doubted the perseverance of those in whom 
he chd not find particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin. 
On one • occasion he questioned some novices as to the 
saints towards whom they had special devotion, and per- 
ceiving some who had it not towards Mary, he instantly 
warned the;master of novices, and desired him to keep a 
more' attentive watch over these unfortunate young men, 

^ Viiga . . . ramonmi Buonim admirabili extensione sese ubiqne terrarum ex- 
paoditk vdi diflMnos Alios AUk ab onto, a tarbine, et a pluvia umbra ctesiderabOi 
p ro t weret. — Ik Laud. Virg. Horn. viii. 

* ?roOe amrpitt hoe sobve, ubi dies i ToUe BCuiam, ipsA. nisi deuiis&iuB toM- 
bnereliii^iuentar? — Serm. de Aquttd. 

^^jPSopounti teii«br<u*» et fitctawt nox : in ipeapertrantfliunt amn«8 bestiik irilve. 
— A.CBi,90. 

« Oninifl a.te aTenw at a te despectas accesse est ut mteteki.'^Ad, B. M: V. 
Oral. SI. 



lAo all, as he had feared, lost their Tecatimis and 
lenoimced the religious state. 

It was then not withont reason that Saint GennattBd 
called the most !Nessed Virgin the breath oi ChnstiaM ; 
for as the body cannot Mve without bieathii^, so the soul 
eannot live without having recourse to and raooramending 
itself to 'MsjY, by whose means we certainly acquire and 
preserve the life of Divine grace within oar souls. But I 
will quote the Saint's own woids : * As breathing is not 
only a sign but even a cause of life, so the name of Maiy, 
which is constantly found on the lips of God's servants, 
both proves that they aie truly alive, and at the same 
time causes and preserves their life, and gives th»n 
every succour.' ^ Blessed Allan was one day assaulted by 
a violent temptation, and was on the p<Hnt of yielding, for 
he had not recommended himself to Maiy; when this 
most Blessed Yii^in appeared to him, and in order that 
another time he might lemember to invoke her aid, she 
gave him a blow, saying, ' If thou hadst recommended 
thyself to me thou wouldst not have run into such 

OvL the other hand, Maiy says in the following words of 
the Book of Proverbs, which are aj^lied to her by the 
Church : " Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that 
watcheth daify at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of 
my doors "^ — as if she would say, Bieaaed is he that hears 
my voice and is constantly attentive to scppLj at the door 
of my mercy, and seeks light and help from me. For 
clients who do this, Mary does her part, and obtains tibem 
the Hght and strength they require to abandon sin and 
walk in the paths of virtue. For this reason Innocent III 
beautifully calk her ^the moon at night, the dawn at 
break of day, and the sun at mid-day.' ^ She is a moon to 

1 Qnomodo enim coipiu nostrum vitalis siganm <^MeretiQnift lubet respinr* 
tiomem, ita etiam wnctissiBuna tawn nomea, ^uod in ore aerwum tnomm 
versatur asridae in omni tempore, loco, et modo vitee laetitan et awolii, aott tohuii 
eat aieinim ; aed ea etiam procmat e4 txfadiSsa^.—J)e Zona B. V. 

' Beatns homo qni audit me, et qui visilat ad forea meas quotidie, ct oteervst 
ad postea oatii vm.—Froo. viii, 34. Infisto Ctmt. B. V, M. 

* Luna lucet in nocte, Aurora in dOuculo, Sol in die.-nSrrm. 2, d^ Jss, 


ttiiigkteii those who Mindly wander in the night of sin, 
and makes them see and understand the miserable state ci 
dmnnrttiop in which they are ; fhe is the dawn (that is^ 
the foreronner of the son) to those wham she has already 
enlightened, and makes them abandon sin and return to 
God, the tme Sun of justice ; finally, she is a sun to those 
who are in a state of grace, and piev^ts th«n from again 
falling into the precipice of sin. 

L^imed writers apply the following words of Ecdesias* 
tbus to Munr: *'Her bands are a healthful binding."^ 
' Why bands ?' asks Saint Lawrence Justinian, ' except it 
be that she binds her servants, and thus prevents thnn 
from straying into the paths of vice.' ^ And truly this is 
the reason for which Marv binds hex servants. Saint Bona* 
ventnie also, in his commentary on the words of Eode* 
siasticns, frequently used in the office of Maiy, " My abode 
is in the fidl assembly of saints," ^ says that Mary not only 
has her abode in the fii^ assembly of saints, but also 
pt^erves them from iaUing, keeps a constant watch over 
l^eir virtue, that it may not faQ, and restrains the evfl 
spirits from injuring them.^ 'Not only has she her abode 
in the full assembly of the saints, but she keeps the saints 
Ulere, by preserving their merits that they may not lose 
them, by restraining the devils from injuring them, and 
by withholding the arm of her son from falling on sinners.* 

In the Book of Proverbs we are told, that all Maiy's 
(^ents are clothed with double garments. " For all her 
domestics are clothed with double garments." ^ Cornelius 
a Lapide explains what this double clothing is : he says, 
that it * oonaists^in her adorning her faithful servants with 
the virtues of her Son, and with her own ;' ^ and thus 

1 Ymcnla iUins alli^atura salntaris. — Eccli. vi, 81. 

* Quare Tincala? nisi quia servos ligat, ne discorrant per campos liceatiae. t 
3 In plenitnctme Sanctofnun detentio mea. — Eceli. xxiv, 16. 

* Ipsa qaoqne non soinm in plenitndine Sanctorum detinetur, sed etiam in 
plei AC u din c Stmctos detinet, ne eonun plenitodo minnatnr ; detinet fiimirnm vir- 
tutes, ne fogiant : detinet merita, ne pereant : detinet daemones, ne noceant : 
detinet Filium, ne peceatores percatiat. — Spec. B.M. V. lect. viii. 

* Omnes enim domestici eiitis retrtiti sunt duplicibna. — Frota. xxxi, SI. 

" Doplici veste ipsa omat sibi devotos, eamie nxrsus dnplex est, quia tam Chrirti, 
quam B. Virginia yirtatibiiB eos Tcstit et indmt.^Cfm. m Fnn. Sahm. xxxi, 31. 


dothed they persevere in virtue. And therefore, St. I^ip 
Neri, in his exhortations to his penitents, used always to 
say: *My children, if you desire perseverance, be devout to 
our Blessed Lady.' The venerable John Berchmans, of the 
Society of Jesus, used also to say : * Whoever loves Mary 
will have perseverance.' Truly beautiful is the reflection 
of the Abbot Bupert on this subject in his commentary on 
the parable of the prodigal son. He says, ' That if this 
dissolute youth had had a mother living, he would never 
have abandoned the paternal roof, or, at least, would have 
returned much sooner than he did;'^ meaning, thereby, 
that a son of Mary either never abandons God, or^ if he 
has this misfortune, by her help, he soon returns. Oh, 
did all men but love this most benign and loving Lady, 
had they but recourse to her always, and without delay, in 
their temptations, who would fall ? Who would ever be 
lost ? He falls and is lost who has not recourse to Mary. 
St. Lawrence Justinian applies tQ Mary the words of Eccle- 
siastieus, " I have walked in the waves of the sea :" ^ and 
makes her say, 'I walk with my servants in the midst of 
the tempests, to which they are constantly exposed, to 
assist and preserve them from falling into sin.' 

Bernardine de Busto relates that a bird was taught to 
say ' Hail Mary.' A hawk was on the point of seizing it, 
when the bird cried out ' Hail Mary :' in an instant the 
hawk fell dead. God intended to show thereby, that if 
even an irrational creature was preserved by calling on 
Mary, how much more would those who are prompt in 
calling on her when assaulted by devils, be delivered from 
them. We, says St. Thomas of Villanova, need only when 
tempted by the devil, imitate little chickens, which, as soon 
as they perceive the approach of a bird of prey, run under 
the wings of their mother for protection. This is exactly 
what we should do whenever we are assaulted by tempta- 
tion ; wc should not stay to reason with it, but immediately 

^ Si prodigus fiilius virentcm matrem habuissct, vcl a patcrna doiuo nunqmou 
disoesusset, vel forte citius rediisset. t 
I Ixj fluctibiis maris anibiUavi.— J?cc/?. xxiv, 8, 


fly and l^oe (^urselvies tinder the mantle of Mary. I wiU, 
howerer, qiiote tiie Saint's otm words dddressed to Maiy. 
* As chickens whox th^ see a kite soating above, mn and 
find refuge under the wings of the hen, so are we preserved 
jmdtk the shadow of thy wings/ ^ 'And thou,' he con* 
tiouiBs, * wh0 art" our Lady and Mother, hast to defend us ; 
for, after 6od, we have no other refuge than thee, who art 
oiut only bope and our protectress ; towards thee we aU 
turn our eyes witli confidence.' - 
• Xi0t UB then conclude in the words of Saint Bernard: 
'Oh nan» whoever thou art^ understand that in this world 
thou art tossed about on a stormy and tempestuous sea> 
i;;»tber tiian walking on solid ground ; remember, that if 
tjiou woiijddst avoid being drowned, thou must never turn 
thine eyes £rom the brightness of this star, but keep them 
fixed on it, and call on Mary. In dangers, in straits, in 
doubts, remember Mary* invoke Mary.' ^ iTes, in dangers 
of sinning, when molested,by temptations, when doubtful 
as to how you should act, remember that Mary can belp 
you ; and call upon her, and she wiU instantly succour you. 
' Let not her name leave thy lips, let it be ever in thy 
heart.' Your hearts should never lose confidence in her 
h<dy name, nor should your lips ever c^ase to invoke it. 
'followiog her, thou wilt certaioly not go astray.' O 
no; if we follow Mary, we shall never err from the paths of 
salvation. ' Imploruig her, thou wilt not despair.^ Each 
time ^hut we invoke her aid, we shall be inspired with 
perfect confidence. ' If she supports thee, thou canst not 
fall;' ^if she protects thee thou hast nothing to fear, for 
thou canst not be lost i' ' with her for thy guide, thou wilt 
not be weary;' for thy salvation will be worked out with 

^ Bieat pidH, voUtantibuft deauper milvis, ad gaUinss alasoccammt, ita nos sul> 
T^lam«ltto alarum tuamm abscondiiuw.— ii$«r0». 3 4« Nat. Virp. 

* Nescjnius aliud refugiuni nisi te ; tu sola es unica Spes nostra in qua confi- 
dbuiM; tti sota Patifona nostara, ad qaam omaes aspicimus. — Serm,. 3, de Nat. Jbl.V, 

3 O quisqais te inteliigis hujua seculi proflurio magis inter procellas et tempes- 
tates flactuare, quani per terrani ambuli^ire ; ne avertas ocuilos a fulgore hujus 
sideo^ si aon vis obrud proccUis .... Ilespice stellam, voca Mariaiu .... In|ieri- 
ctUis, in aogiistiis, in rebua dubiis, Mariam cogita,- Mariani invoca.-^i«/Mr tntssm 
€3t Horn, ii, 



ease.' If she is propitious, thou wilt gain the port/ ^ If 
Mary undertakes our defence, we are certain cf gaining 
the kingdom of heaven. " This do, and thou shalt live." " 


The history of St. Mary of Egypt, in the first book of 
the lives of the Fathers, is well known. At the age of 
twelve years she fled from the house of her parents, and 
went to Alexandria, and there led an infamous life, and 
was a scandal to the whole city^. After living for sixteen 
years in sin, she took it into her head to go to Jerusalem. 
At the time the feast of the holy cross was being cele- 
brated, and, moved rather by curiosity than by devotion, 
she determined on entering the church ; but when at the 
door, she felt herself repelled by an invisible force. She 
made a second attempt and was again unable to enter ; and 
the same thing was repeated a third and a fourth time. 
Finding her efl'orts in vain, the unfortunate creature with- 
drew to a comer of the porch, and there, enlightened from 
above, understood that it was on account of her infamous 
life that God had repelled her even from the church. In 
that moment she fortunately raised her eyes and beheld a 
picture of Mary. No sooner did she perceive it, than, 
sobbing, she exclaimed, * Mother of God, pity a poor 
sinner. I know that on account of my sins I deserve not 
that thou shouldst cast thine eyes upon me. But thou 
art the refuge of sinners ; for the love of thy son Jesus, 
help me. Permit me to enter the church, and I promise 
to change my life and to go and do penance in whatever 
place thou pointest out to me.* She immediately heard 
an internal voice, as it were that of the Blessed Virgin, 
replying : ' Since thou hast recourse to me, and wishest to 

1 Non recedat ab ore, non recedat a conic, et ut impctrea ejus orutionis snf- 
fimgium non deseras conTersatioiLia exeinplum: ipsam sequens, non devias: 
ipsam rogans, non desperas : ij^sani cogitans non crras : ipsa tenente, non corruiB .- 
ipsa protegente, non raetuia : ipsa dnce, non fatigaris : ipsa pronitia, pen'enis, 
et sic in temctipao experiris quam raerito dictum sit, ct nomcn virgiiua Mam. 
— Jb. 

« Sic fac, ct vives.— Xt«?. x, 28. 


(fliang* t^y Hfe, go — eater the chiU'Cth^ his no longer closed 
against tli^e.' The sinner entered, adored the cross, and 
wept bitt^ly. She then returned to the picture, and said, 
* Lady, behold I am ready, where wilt, thou that I should 
go to do penance ? * * Go,' the Blessed Virgin replied, 
' cross the Jordan, and thou wilt find the place of thy 
jeppse/ She went to confession and commu^iion, and then 
passed the river, anii finding herself in the desert, she un- 
derstood that it was in that place she should do penance for 
her sinful life. During the first seventeen years the assaults 
of the devil, by which he endeavoured to make the Saint 
again fall into sin, were terrible. And what were her means 
of defence ? She constantly recommended herself to Mary, 
and this most Blessed Yirgin obtained her strength to 
resist during the whole of the above time, after which her 
combats ceased. After fifty-seven years spent in the desert, 
and having attained the age of eighty-seven, she was by 
a disposition of providence met by the Abbot Zosimus ; 
to him she related the history of her life, and entreated 
him to return the following year, and to bring her the holy 
communion. The saintly Abbot did so, and gave her the 
bread of angels. She then requested that he would again 
retiun to see her. This also he did, but found her dead. 
Her body was encompassed by a bright light, and at her 
head these words were written, ' Bury my body here — it 
is that of a poor sinner, and intercede with God for me.' 
A lion came and made a grave with his claws. S. Zosimus 
buried her, returned to his monastery, and related the 
wonders of God's mercy towards this happy sinner. 


O compassionate Mother, most Sacred Virgin, behold 
at thy feet the traitor, who, by paying with ingratitude the 
graces received from God through thy means, has betrayed 
both thee and him. But I must tell thee, O most blessed 
Lady, that my misery, far from taking away my confi- 
dence, increases it; for I see that thy compassion is great, 
in proportion to the greatness of my jnisery. Show thy- 


self, O Mary, full of liberality towatda me ; for thufriteu 
art towards all who ilivoke thy aid. All that I ask ii- that 
thoti fihouldst cast thine eyes of cotnpas&ion on mfe, afid 
pity me. If thy heart is thns far moved, it cannot do 
otherwise than protect me ; and if thou protecttet me, 
what can I fear P No, I fear nothing j I do not f e«f iny 
sits, for thon canst provide a remedy '^1 do not fear deTils', 
for thou art more powerful than the whde of hdl ; I do 
not even fe^r thy Son, though justly irritated agfeinst nie ; 
for at a word of thine he will be appeased. I Only fear 
lest, in niy temptations, and by my own fault, I inay ceaae 
to recommend myself to thee, and thus ht lost. But I 
now promise thee that I will always have recourse to thfed 5 
O help toe to fulfil my promise. Lose not the oppot* 
tunity which now presents itself of gratifying thy atdeiit 
desire to succour such poor wretches as myself. In thee, 
O Mother of God, I have unbounded confidence. From 
thee I hope for grace to bewail my sins as I ought, dnd 
from thee I hope for strength never again to faU into 
them. If I am sick, thou, O hedveuly physician, canst 
heal me. If my sins have weakened me, thy help will 
strengthen me. O Mary, I hope all from thee ; for thou 
art all-powerful with God. Amen. 

Section III. — Mary renders Death stceet to her CliefUs. 

" He that is a friend, loveth at all times ; and a brother 
is proved in distress," ^ says the Book of Proverbs. We 
can never know our friends and relations in the time 
of prosperity ; it is only in the time of adversity that we 
see them in their true colours. People of the world never 
abandon a friend as long as he is in prosperity; but shoidd 
misfortunes overtake him, and more particularly should 
he be at the point of death, they immediately forsake him. 
^Mary does not act thus with her clients. In their affic- 
tions, and more particularly in the sorrows of death — the 

^ Omni tenipore diligit qui amicus est : et frater in angustiis OHaprobatar/-^ 
True, xvii, I7. 


giestest tbat can be endured in this woild, this good Lady 
and Motlier not only does not abandon her fiuthM se> 
TSiits, but as, daring our exile, she is onr life, so also is 
sbe, at onr last hoar, onr sweetness, by obteining us a 
cafan and happy death. For firom the day on which Mary 
had the piiTile^ and sorrow of being present at the death 
of Jesus, her Son, ^ho was the head of all the pre* 
destinedyit became her privilege to assist alsoat theirdeaths. 
And for this reason the holy Church teaches us to beg 
thb most Blessed Virgin to assist us, especially at the 
moment of death; pray for us sinners, now and at the hour 
of oor death ! 

Oh how great are the sufferings of the d^ing. They 
suffer fipom remorse of conscience on account of past sins, 
from fear of the approaching judgment, and from the 
unoertainty of their eternal salvation. Then it is that hell 
arms itself, and spares no efforts to gain the soul which is 
on the point of entering eternity ; for it knows that only a 
short time remains in which to gain it, and that if it then 
loses it, it has lost it for ever. " The devil is come down 
unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a 
short time." ^ And for this reason the enemy of our sal- 
vation, whose charge it was to tempt the soul during life, 
does not choose at death to be alone, but calls others to 
his assistance, according to the prophet Isais : " Their 
houses shall be filled with serpents." ^ And indeed they 
are so ; for when a person is at the point of death, the whole 
place in which he is, is filled with devils, who all unite to 
make him lose Ms soul. 

It is related of St. Andrew Avellino, that ten thousand 
devils came to tempt him at his death. The conflict that 
he had in his agony with the powers of hell was so terrible, 
that all the good religious who assisted him trembled. 
They saw the Saint's face swelled to such a degree from 
agitation, that it became quite black, every limb trembled, 

^ Deacendit diabolus ad vos, habens iram magnam, sciens quod modicum tem- 
pos Itabet. — Afoc. xii, 12. 
* Replebuntur domus eonun dracoiiibus. — Jsaxax xiii, SI. 


&nd was contorted ; his e^s shed 4i tbrttefit <of tears. Yds 
head shook riolently : all gave eviiesftce of the terlil^e 
assault he was enduring on tte ^ift of ids infernal ^ibea. 
AM wept with compassion, and redoubled thw pmyefs, 
aiidat 1^ sa[me<^3ne1irembledwith'ft)at,oii«ed]igaSiunft 
die thus. They were, however, oonsoled at seeing, ^at 
often, as if seeking for help, the Saint turned his eyes 
towards a devout picture of Mary; for they retnembcaed 
that dunng life he had often said ^eit at death Maiy 
would be his refuge. At length God was pleased to pttt 
an end to the contest, by granting him a gk>rious victory; 
for the contortions of his body ceased, his face veswned its 
original size and colour, and the saint, witiL his eyes tran- 
quilly fixed on the picture, made a devout inclination to 
Mary (who it is believed then appeared to him), as if in 
the act of thanking her, and with a heavenly smile on 
his countenance tranquilly breathed forth his blessed so«l 
into the arms of Mary. At the same momeilt a Capuchi^ 
ness, who was in her agony, turning to the nuns who 8«r^ 
rounded her, said, ' Kecite a Hail Maiy, for a Saint has 
just expired.' 

Ah, how quiddy do the r^llious spirits fly Irom the 
presence of this queen. If at the hour of death we have 
only the protection of Mary, what need we fqar fiom the 
whole of our infernal enemies. David, fcKariog the horrors 
of death, encouraged himsdf by placing his tdianee in the 
death of the coming Bedeemer, and in the intercessien of 
the Virgin Mother. " For though," he says, " I shodd 

walk in the midst of the shadow of deaUi thy rod 

and thy staff, they have comforted me." ^ CnviinBl Hnigo, 
explaining these words of the Boyal Brc^f^t^ says thnt tiie 
staif signifies the cross, and the rod is the intercesskm tif 
Mary; for she is the rod foretold by the prophet IsMd*: 
" And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, 
and a flower shall rise up out of his ro(^." ^ * This Divine 
Mother,' says Saint Peter Damian, ' is that powerful rod 

1 £t si amljulavero in medio tunbne tnottis .... vhrga taa, et bacQlns tuns, 
ipsa me coiisolata sunt. — Fg. xxii, 4. 
* Egredletur virga de rodice Jesse, et flos de radke ejus ascendet.'/Mta»,xi, 1. 


witk which the Tiolenoe of the infernal enenisa is oon- 
quored.' ^ And therefore does St. Antoninus enoouiage 
us, saving, ' If Maiy is for us, who shall be against us P' ^ 
When Father Emanuel Padial, of the Society oi Jesus, was 
at the point of death, Mary appeared to him, and to con* 
sdte him, she said : ' See at length the hour is come when 
the angels congratulate with thee, and exclaim, * O happy 
labours, O mortifications well requited V And in the same 
moment an army of demons was seen taking its flight, and 
dying out ia despair, ' Alas ! we can do nought, for she 
who is without stain defends him.'^ In like manna*, 
Father Gaspar Haywood was assaulted by deyils at his 
death, and greatly tempted against faith : he Immediately 
reeommended himself to the most Blessed Yiigin, and was 
heard to exdLaim, ^ I thank thee, Mary, for thou hast come 
to my aid.'^ St. Bonaventure tells us that Mary sends with- 
out delay, the prinee of the heavenly court. Saint Michael, 
with all the angels, to defend her dying servants, s^ainst 
the temptations of the devils, and to receive the souls of 
aU who, iu a ^peeial manner, and persevenngly, have 
recommended themselves to her. The Saint, addressing 
our Blessed Lady, says, ' Michael, the leader and prince of 
th^ heavenly army, with all the adininisteTing spirits, obeys 
thy commands, O Virgin, and defends and receives the soids 
of the feithfttl who have particularly recommended them- 
selves^ to thee> O Lady, day and night.' » 

The prophet Isaias tells us that when a man is on the 
point of leamg the world, hell is opened and sends forth 
iU most terrible demons, both to tempt the soul before it 
leaves the body, and also to accuse it when presented 
b^ore the tribunal of Jesus Christ for judgment. The 
prophet says, " Hell below was in an uproar to meet thee 

* HfiBc est virga ilia, qua retondantur impetua adTersantium dannoniorum.— 
Serm. de Ass. B. Y. 

* Si Maria pro nobis, qDis contra nos ? t 
S Tiiintf. Menol. aUi 28 jfyr. t 

* Fatrig. ut sup. t 

' Michael dux et prinoep»]ni]iti» oodestia, cum omnibuB administratonis spii'itl- 
bu», tuiB, Virgo, paret pneceptis, in defhidendis in corpore et in auseipiendtsde 
corpore animabus fldelium, sperialiter tibi, Domino, die ac noctc sc tibi comneu- 
dantium.— 5j)tfc. B. V. lect. 3. 


at thy coming, it stirred up the giants for thee." ^ But 
Eichiurd of Saint Lawrence remarks, that when the soul is 
defended by Mary, the devils dare not even accuse it, 
knowing that the judge never condemned, and never will 
condemn, a soul protected by his august Mother. He asks 

* Who would dare accuse one who is patronized by the 
Mother of Him who is to judge ?' * Mary not only assists 
her beloved servants at death and encourages them, but 
she herself accompanies them to the tribunal seat of God. 
As Saint Jerome says, writing to the virgin Eustochia, 

* What a day of joy will that be for thee, when Mary, the 
Mother of our Lord, accompanied by choirs of virgins, 
will go to meet thee.'* 

The Blessed Yirgin assured Saint Bridget of this, for speak- 
ing of her devout clients at the point of death, she said, 
' Then will I, their dear Lady and Mother, fly to them, that 
theymayhave consolation and refreshment.'* Saint Vincent 
Ferrers says, that not only does the most ' Blessed Virgin* 
console and refresh them, but that * she receives the souls 
of the dying.' * This loving Queen takes them under her 
mantle, and thus presents them to the Judge her Son, and 
most certainly obtains their salvation. This really happened 
to Charles the son of St. Bridget,^ who died in the army, 
far ft-om his mother. She feared much for his salvation 
on account of the dangers to which young men are exposed 
in a military career ; but the Blessed Virgin revealed to 
her that he was saved on account of his love for her, and 
that in consequence she herself had assisted him at death, 
and had suggested to him the acts that should be made at 
that terrible moment. At the same time the Saint saw 
Jesus on his throne, and the devil bringing two accusations 

^ Infemns snbtcr contnrbatua est in occumun adventus tui, snacitavit tibi 
gigantes. — IsaiaSy xiv, 9. 

* Quis enim agud lUium accusare audeat, cui mabrem videritpatrocmantem.? 
— Ik Laud. r. 1. n, c. 1. 

3 Quails erit ilia dies, qnum tibi Maria Mater Domini choris occnrret comitata 
Virgineis ? — JBjnst. ad Bust, de Ctut. Vxrg. 

* Ego carissinia Bomina eorum et Mater obviabo eis et occniram eis in morte, 
nt etiam in ipsa morte consolationem et refrigerium habeant.~*J{^. lib. i, c. 29. 

^ Beata Virgo animas morientium suscipit.— i9«riA. de Ats. t 

* Ree. lib. vu, c. 13. 

OUE IlFl:, OtJR SW£ETNBS8. f 3 

agidiiist the most Blessed Virgin : the iirst was, that 
liaiy had prevented liim from tempting Charles at the 
moment of death ; and the second was, that this Blessed 
Yugin had lierself presented his soul to the Judge, and so 
saVedit without even giving him the opportunity of ex- 
posing the grounds on which he claimed it. She then 
saw the Judge drive the devil away, and Charles's soul 
earned to heaven. 

licclesiasticus says, that *' her bands are a healthful 
binding" ^ and that *' in the latter end thou shalt find rest 
in her." * Oh, you are indeed fortunate, my brother, if at 
death you are bound with the sweet chains of the love of 
the Mother of God ! These chains are chains of salvation ; 
they are chains that will insure your eternal salvation, and 
win make you enjoy in death that blessed peace which will 
be the be^nning of your eternal peace and rest. Father 
Binetti, in his book, on the perfections of our Blessed Lord, 
says, * that having attended the death-bed of a great lover 
of Mary, he heard him, before expiring, utter these words: 
* O my father, would that you could know the happiness 
that I now enjoy from having served the most holy Mother 
of God ; I cannot tell you the joy that I now experience.* 
Pather Suarez (m consequence of his devotion to Mary 
which was such, that he used to say, that he would wil- 
lingly change all his learning for the merit of a single *Hail 
Mary*) died with such peace and joy, that, in that moment, 
he said, ' I could not have thought that death was so sweet;' 
meaning, that he could never have imagined that it was 
possible, if he had not then experienced it, that he could 
have found such sweetness in death. You, devout reader, 
win, without doubt, experience the same joy and content- 
ment in death, if you can then remember thai you have 
loved this good Mother ; who cannot be otherwise than 
faithful to her children, who have been faithful in serving 
and honouring her, by their visits, rosaries, and fasts; 
and still more by frequently thanking and praising her, 

1 VincnlailliaB aUigatara lalntaria.— JKmU. ti, 31. 

■ Ib noviNimis eawinveiiies Tequiem in ttw-Scct. vi, SO. 



and often recommending themselves to her powerful pro- 

Nor will this consolation be withheld, even if you have 
been for a time a sinner, provided that, from this day, you 
are careful to live well, and to serve this most gracious and 
benign Lady. She, in your pains, and in the temptations 
to despair, which the devil will send you, wiU console you, 
and even come herself to assist you in your last moments. 
Marinus, the brother of Saint Peter Damian, who relates 
it,^ had one day offended God grievously. He went before 
an altar of Mary, to dedicate hunself to her, as her slave ^ 
and for this purpose, and as a mar]c of servitude, put his 
girdle round his neck, and thus addressed her : ' My sove- 
reign Lady, mirror of that purity, which I, miserable sinner 
that I am, have violated, thereby outraging my God and 
thee, I know no better remedy for my crime, than to offer 
myself to thee for thy slave. Behold me, then : to thee do 
I this day dedicate myself, that I may be thy servant ; 
accept me, though a rebel, and reject me not.' He then 
left a sum of money on the step of the altar, and pro- 
mised to pay a like sum ever}' ye^, as a tribute which he 
owed as a slave of Mary. After a certain time, Marinus 
fell dangerously ill ; but one morning, before expiring, he 
was ]^eaid to exclaim : * Pise, rise, pay homage to my 
QuecQ r and then he added : * And whence is this favour, 
Queen of Heaven, that thou shouldst condescend to 
visit t|iy poor serv^t P Bless nie, Lady, and permit me 
npt tQ be lost, after having honoured me with thy presence.' 
At this mom'ent his brother Peter entered, and to him he 
Belated the visit of Mpry; and added, that she had blest 
him ; but at the same time complained, that those who 
were presept, had remained seated in the presence of this 
great Queen ; and shortly afterwards he sweetly expired 
in our Lord. Such also will be your death, beloved reader, 
if you are faithful to Mary. Though you may have 
hitherto offended Gt>d, she will procure you a sweet and 
happy death. 

1 OpU3C. 33^cap.iv. 


And if, by cMnce, at that moment, you ai-e greatly 
Idarmed, and lose cbnfidence at the sight of your sins, she 
will come and encourage you, as she (£d Adolphus, Count 
of Alsace, who abandoned the world, and embraced the 
order of Saint Francis. In the Chronicles of that Order, 
we are told that he had a tender devotion to the Mother 
of Grod ; and that, when he was at the point of death, his 
former life, and the rigours of Divine justice,presented them- 
selves before his miud, and caused him to tremble at the 
thought of death, and fear for his eternal salvation. 
Scarcely had these thoughts entered his mind, when Mary 
(who is always active when her servants are in pain), 
accompanied by many Saints, J)resented herself before the 
dying man, and encouraged him with words of the greatest 
tenderness, saying : * My own beloved Adolph ; thou art 
mine, thou hast given thyself to me, and now, why dost 
thou fear death so much ?* On hearing these words, the 
servant of Mary was instantly relieved, fear was banished 
from his soul, and he expired, in the midst of the greatest 
peace and joy. Let us then be of good heart, though We 
be sinners, and feel certain that Mary will come and assist 
us at death, and comfort and console us with her presence, 
provided only that we serve her with love during the 
remainder of the time that we have to be in this world. 
Our Queen, one day addressing Saint Matilda promised 
that she would assist all her clients at death, who, dudng 
their lives, had faithfully served her. * I, as a most tender 
Mother, will faithfully be present at the death of all who 
piously serve me, and wiU console and protect them.' ^ Oh 
God, what a consolation will it be at that last moment of 
bur lives, when our eternal lot has so soon to be decided, 
to see the Queen of Heaven, assisting and consoling us 
with the assurance of her protection. For^ besides the 
cases already given, in which we have seen Mary assisting 
her dying servants, there are innulnerable others recorded 
in different works. This fiavouf was granted to Saint Clare; 

^ Ego omnibus, qui mihi pie et sancte deserviunt, volo in morte fidelissime 
tamgttam outer piissima adesse, eosque oooBolari ac protegeie. — A^, £1(m. Concl, 
an. Fid. cap. xii. 

76 OUft UFE« OUB 8W£BT17£SS. 

to Saint Felix, of the Order of G^uchins ; to Saint Glare 
of Montefalco ; to Saint Teresa ; to Saint Peter, of Alcan- 
tara. But, for our common consolation, I will relate the 
following. Father Crasset ^ tells us, that Mary of Oignes 
saw the Blessed Virgin at the pillow of a devout widow 
of Villembroe, who was ill with a violent fever. Maiy 
stood by her side, consoling her and cooling her with a 
fan. Of Saint John of Gt)d, who was tenderly devoted to 
Maiy, it is related that he fully expected that she would 
visit him on his deathbed ; but not seeing her arrive, he 
was afflicted, and perhaps even complained. But when 
his last hour had come, the Pivine Mother appeared, and 
gently reproving him for his little confidence, addressed 
him in the following tender words, which may well encou- 
rage all servants of Maiy: ' John, it is not in me to forsake 
my clients at such a moment.' As though she had said : 
* John, of what wast thou thinking P Didst thou Imagine 
that I had abandoned thee? And dost thou not know 
that I never abandon my clients at the hour of death ? If 
I did not come sooner, it was that thy time was not yet 
come ; but now that it is come, behold me here, to take 
thee ; let us go to Heaven.' Shortly afterwards the Saint 
expired, and fled to that blessed kingdom, there to thank . 
his most loving Queen for all eternity. 


Let us dose this subject with another example, in which 
we shall see how great is the tenderness of this good Mother 
towards her children at death. The parish priest of a 
country place was assisting a certain rich man, who was 
dying, in a magnificent house and attended upon by ser- 
vants, relatives, and friends ; but the good priest saw also 
devils in the shape of dogs, who were waiting to cany off 
his soul, as they in fact did ; for he died in sin. In the 
mean tiine, a poor woman was also ill ; and desiring to 
receive the Holy Sacraments, sent for the parish priest ; 
but he, being unable to leave the rich man, whose soul 

J Div. aVa Verg. torn. I, tr. i, qti. xi. t 


stboi. in mich tie^d of assistance, sent tier anotlier 
ptiest, who inkmediately went, carrying the pix which con- 
tained the Most Blessed Siacrttment. On his arriyal he 
saw tieither servants, nor attendants, nor fine fnmitnrey 
for the sick womlin was poor, and peihaps only lying on a 
Mttle straw. But he saw a great light in the room, and 
near l^e bed of the dying person was the Mother of God, 
MarV) eonsolin| h^, and, with a cloth in her hand, wiping 
off tte sweat Of deaih. The priest, teeing Mary, feared to 
enter, but the Blessed Tirgin made him a sign to come in. 
The priest entered, and Mary showed him a stool, that he 
might be seated, and hear the confession of her servant. 
This he did, and after she had commnnicated, with great 
devotion, she happily breathed forth her soul in the arms 
of Miaty.^ 


Oh my most sweet Mother, how shall I die, poor sinner 
that I am ? Even now, the thonght of that important mo- 
ment, when I must expire, and appear before the judgment 
seat of Grod, and the remembrance that I have myself, 
so often written my condemnation, by consenting to sins 
makes me tremble. I am confounded, and fear much, for 
my eternal salvation. O Mary, in the blood of Jesus, and 
in t!^ intercession, is all my hope. Thou art the Queen 
of Heaven, the mistress of the universe ; in short, thou 
art the Mother of God. Thou art great, but thy greatness 
does not prevent, nay, even it inclines thee to greater com- 
passion towards us in our miseries. Worldly friends, when 
rdised to dignity, disdain to notice their former friends, 
who may have fallen into distress. Thy noble and loving 
heart does not act thus, for the greater are the miseries it 
beholds, the greater are its efforts to relieve. Thou, when 
called upon, immediately assistest; nay, more, thou antici- 
patest our prayers by thy favours ; thou consolest us in 
our aflBictions ; thou dissipatest the storms by which we 
are tossed about ; thou orerccaxijest all enemies ; thou, in 
fine, never losest an occasion to promote our welfare. May 

1 Orisoa. Mond. Mar. p. % d. zjusriii, f 




that Divine hand, which has united in thee such m^esty 
and such tenderness, such greatness, and so much love, be 
for ever blessed ; I thank my Lord for it, and congratiUate 
myself in having so great an advantage ; for truly, in thy 
felicity do I place my own, and I consider thy lot as mine. 

comfortress of the afflicted, console a poor creature who 
reeommends himself to thee. The remorse of a conscience 
overburthened with sins fills me with affliction. I am in 
doubt as to whether I have sufficiently grieved for them. 

1 see that all my actions are soiled and defective ; hell 
awaits my death in order to accuse me; the out- 
raged justice of Qod demands satisfaction. My Motherj 
what will become of me P If thou dost not help me I 
am lost. What sayest thou, wilt thou assist me? O 
compassionate Virgin, console me ; obtain me true sorrow 
for my sins; obtain me strength to amende and to be 
faithful to Qod during the rest of my Hfe. And finally, 
when I am in the last agonies of death, Mary, my hope, 
abandon me not ; then, more than ever, help and encour- 
age me, that I may not despair at the sight of my sins, 
which the evil one will then place before me. My Lady, 
forgive my' temerity; come thyself to comfort me with thy 
presence, in that last struggle. This favour thou hast 
granted to many, grant it ako to me. If my boldness ia 
great, thy goodness is greater, for it goes in search of the 
most miserable, to console them. On this I rely. For 
thy eternal glory, let it be said that thou hast snatched a 
wretched cfeature from hell, to which he was already con- 
demned, and that thou hast l6d him to thy kingdom. O 
yes, sweet Mother, I hope to have the consolation of 
remaining always at thy feet in heaven, thanking and 
blessing, and loving thee eternally. Mary, I shall expect 
thee at my last hour, deprive me not of this consolation, 
Piat, fiat. Amen, amen. 




SscTiON I. — Mary w the Hope ofaU, 

fMVODEEN heretics cannot endure that we should salute 
#'**4and call Mary, our Hope : * Hail, our Hope.* They 
say, that God alone is our hope, and that he curses those who 
put their trust in creatures, in these words of the prophet 
Jeremias : " Cursed be the man that trusteth in man." ^ 
Mary, they exclaim, is a creature ; and how can a creature 
be our hope ? This is what the heretics say; but in spite 
of it, the holy Church obKges ail ecclesiastics and religious 
each day to raise their voices, and in the name of all the 
faithful, invoke and call Mary by the sweet name of ' our 
Hope,' — the Hope of all. 

The angelicid Doctor Saint Thomas says, that we can 
place our hope in a person in two ways : its a principal 
cause, and as a mediate one. Those who hope for a 
favour fitHu a king, hope it from him as lord ; they hope 
for it from his minister or favourite as an intercessor. If 
the fiavour is granted, it comes primarily from the king, 
bat it comes through the instrumentality of the 'favourite ; 
and in this case, he who seeks the favour is right in 
calling his intercessor, his hope. The King of Heaven, 
being infinite goodness, desires in the highest degree to 
enrich us with His graces; but, because confidence is 
requisite on our part, and in order to iacrease it in us, He 
has given us His own Mother to be our Mother and Advo- 
cate, and to her He has given all power to help us; and, there- 
fore, He wills that we should repose our hope of salvation 

\ Mal^ptns homo qui oonfidit in homiue.— /ervm.xrii, 


and of every blessing in her. Those who place their hopes 
in creatures alone, independently of Grod, as sinners do, 
and in order to obtain the friendship and favonr of a man, 
fear not to outrage His Divine Majesty, are most cer- 
tainly cursed by Ghod^ as the prophet Jeremias says. But 
those who hope in Mary, as Mother of God, who is 
able to obtain graces and eternal life for them, are 
truly blessed and acceptable to the heart of Qod, who 
desires to see that greatest of His creatures honoured ; for 
she loved and honoured Him in this world more than aU. 
men and angels put together. And, therefore, we justly 
and reasonably call the Blessed Virgin, oar Hope, trustiag^ 
ae Cardinal Bellarmin says, 'thatweshidi obtain, througb 
her intercession, that which we should not obtain by our 
own unaided prayers.' * We pray to her,' says the learned 
Suarez, ' in order that .the dignity of the intercessor may 
snp|dy for our own unwoithiness, so that,'^ he continues, 
'to implore the Blessed Virgin in -such a spirit, is not 
diffidence in the mercy of God, but fear of our own unwor- 

It is, then, not without reason that the holy Church, in 
the words of Ecclesiasticus, calls Mary. " the Mother of 
Holy Ho^." ^ She is the mother who gives birth to 
hoty hope in our hearts ; not to tiie hope of the vain and 
transitory goods of this life, but of the immense and 
eternal goods of heaven. 'Hail, then, O hope of n^ 
soul,' exdaims St. Ephrem, addressing this Divine Mother; 
hail, O certam sabration of Christians; hail, O helper of 
sinners ; hail, fortress of the faithfiil and salvation of the 
world.' ^ Other Saints vemind us, that alter God, oar 
only Hope, is Mary ; and, therefore, they call her, ' after 
God, their only Hope.' And St. Ephiem, vefleeting on 

1 lit dignkas intercessoris sappleat inopiam nottnai. — De Jneamat. P. %' 
^ xxxvii. art. 4. Disp. 23. sect. 3, 

* Uiulc Yir^em interpellare, non est do DiTina miserioordia diffldere : sed d# 
pKfpria indignitate, et indispoBitioiie timere. — Ih. 

* £go Mater . . . aanctce w^^—Bceles. xxiv, 24. 

* Ave animse fida et optima apes. Ave firma salus universomm Chriatianorum 
id te wnoece ae vera recnrrentnun . . . Tu peecatorum et ausdlio dei titutonun 
nnica advocata es atque acyutrix . . . Ave vallis fidelium, mundique salus.— Do 
Lawi, Firff. 


the present order of providence, by which God wills (as 
Saint Bernard says, and as we shall prove at len^h) that 
all who are saved should be saved by the means of Mary, 
thus addresses her, ' 0, Lady, cease not to watch over us; 
preserve and guard us under the wings of thy compassion 
and mercy, for, after God, we have no hope but in thee.' ^ 
Saint Thomas, of YUlanova, repeats the same thing, 
calling her * our only refuge, help, and asylum.' ^ 

St. Bernard seems to give the reason for this, when he 
says, * See, man, the designs of (Jod, — designs by which 
He is able to dispense His mercy more abundantly to us; 
for desiring to redeem the whole human race. He has 
placed the whole price of redemption in the hands of 
Mary, that she may dispense it at will.' ^ 

In the book of Exodus we read, that God commanded 
Moses to make a mercy seat of the purest gold, becaiise 
it was thence that He would speak to him. '' Thou shalt 
make also a propitiatory of the purest gold. . . . Thence 
wiU I give orders, and will speak to thee." * St. Andrew 
of Crete says, that ' the whole world embraces Mary as 
being this propitiatory.' And commenting on his words, a 
pious author exclaims, * Thou, O Mary, art the propitiatory 
of the whole world. From thee does our most compas- 
sionate Lord speak to our hearts ; from thee He speaks 
words of pardon and mercy ; from thee He bestows His 
gifts ; from thee all good flows to us.' ^ And, therefore, 
before the Divine Word took flesh in the womb of Mary, 
He sent an archangel to ask her consent: because He 

^ N(m nobis est alia quAm in te fidncia, Virgo sincerissima . . . sub alis tuse 
pietatis, atqne misericordin tiuc, protege et custodi nos. — 1)€ Laud. Virg. 

* Ta nostra protectio, tn nostrum refimum, tu nostrum unicum remedhun, 
subsidiom, et asvlum. — In Festo Nat. B. f. Concio III. 

* Intuere, O iiomo, consilium Dei, agnosce consilium sapientias, oonsilinm 
pietatis . . . Redempttmu humanum genus, universum pretium oontuUt in Marimu. 
—JSerm. de Nat. 

* Fades et propitiatorium de auro mundissimo . . . Inde prsecipiam et loquar 
ad te.Sxod. xxr, 17, 23. 

* Qnocirca D. Andreas Cretensis Virginem alloquens ait 'mrmduste totuspro* 
mtiatorium commune amplecdtur.' — In Dorm. S.M. Serm. iii. Inde pientissimus 
Ilominus nobis loquitur aid cor ; inde rcaponsa dat benignitatis et venise, inde se 
nobis propitiatum ostendit, inde delicta condonat et inunera divina largitur : 
inde omne nobis bonum enianat — FaechiucMli Excit. xx, in Saint. Attg. 

82 otji bopE. 

willed ttat the world should receive the Incarnate Word 
through her, and that she should be the source of every 
good. Hence Saint IrensRus remarks, that as Eve was 
seduced, by a fallen angel, to flee from God, sd 
Mary was led to receive God into her womb, obeying a 
good angel; and thus, by her obedience, repaired Eve*s 
disobedience, and became her advocate, and that of the 
whole human race. 'If Eve disobeyed God, yet Mary 
was persuaded to obey God, that the Virgin Mary might 
become the advocate of the Virgin Eve. And as the 
human race was bound to death through a Virgin, it is 
saved through a Virgin.' ^ 

And B. Raymond Jordano also says, * that every good, 
every help, everv grdce that men have received and will re- 
ceive from God, until the end of time, catne, and will 
come, to thetn by the intercession and through the hands of 
Mary.' 2 The devout Blosius then might well exclaim, 
* Mary, O thou who art so loving and gracious towards 
all who love thee, tell me, who can be so infatuated and 
unfortunate as not to love thee ? Thou, in the midst of 
theit doubts and difficulties, enlightenest the minds of all 
who, in their afflictions, have recourse to thee. Thou 
encouragest those who fly to thee in time of danger ; thou 
succourest those who call upon thee; thou, after thy 
Divine Son, art the certain salvation of thy faithful ser- 
vants. Hail, then, O hope of those who are in despair : 
O succour of those who are abandoned. O, Maiy, thou 
art all powerful : for thy Divine Son, to honour thee, com- 
pKes instantly with aU thy desires.' ^ 

Saint G«rmanus, recognising in Mary the source of all 
our good, and that she delivers us from every evil, thus 

1 Et sicut ilia seducta est ut effugearet Denm, sic hsec suasa est obedire Deo, 
uti Virginis Etsb Yiigo Maria fieret advocata. Et quemadmodum astrictttm est 
morti genus humanipii per virginem, solvatur per Virginem. — S. Iren. Adx. Hares, 
Kb. T, c. 19. 

* Per ipsam, et in ipsa, et cum ipsa, et ab ipsa, habet mundus et babitunu est 
omne bonum.T-i9« Conteiml. B. M. in Prol. 

> Quis te non amet? Tu enim in rebus dubiis es charum lumm, in moero- 
ribns solatium, in angnstiis releramen, in peiiculis et tentationibus rdimiun. Ta 
post unigenitum fiUum tuum certa fideuum salus . . . Ave desperanuum spes 
opportuna, et avudlia destitutorum adjutrix praesentiBsima liana, cnjua hooLon 
tantum tribiut iilius, at quid quid volueris mox ^t.— Farad. An. p. Z, cap. iv. 


invokes her : ' 0, my sovereign Lady, delight of my soul, 
heavenly dew quenching my burning thirst, liquid flowing 
from God into my parched heart, bright light in the midst 
of my soul's darkness, guide of my poor judgment, strength 
of my weakness, covering of my nudity, treasure of my 
poverty, remedy for incurable wounds, wiper away oi 
tears, end of sighs, reverser of misfortunes, lightener oJ 
grief, loosener of my bonds, my hope of salvation, listen 
to my prayers, have mercy on my sighs, and reject not my 
lamentations -, have mercy on me, and may my tears move 
thee; be moved by thine own feeling of compassion 
towards me, who art the Mother of God, the lover of 
men, hear and grant my prayers, fulfil my petition.' ^ 

We need not, then, be surprised, that Saint Antoninus 
applies the following verse of the Book of Wisdom to 
Mary: "Now aU good things came to me together with 
her." 2 Tor as this blessed Virgin is the Mother and dis- 
penser of all good things, the whole world, and more par- 
ticularly each individud who Kves in it as a devout client 
of this great (^ueen, may say with truth, that with devotion 
to Mary, both he and the world have obtained everything 
good and perfect. The Saint thus expresses his thought : 
* She is the Mother of all good things, and the world can 
truly say, that with her (that is, the most Blessed Virgin) 
it has received all good things.' ^ And hence the Blessed 
Abbot of Celles expressly declares, * That when we find 
Mary, we find all.' * Whoever finds Mary finds every good 
thing, obtains all graces and all virtues ; for by her powerful 

^ O Domiua luea, Volnptas mei animi, aestns quern patior Bivina irroratio ; 
cordi meo exsiccato Gutta manans a Deo, twebrosee aniinn mea Lampas splendi- 
dksiiua. Dux egenis meis consiliis, imbecillitdtis Eobur, nuditatis Operimentum, 
paupertatis Divitiie, insanabilium vubierum Medela, lachrymaniiu Abstersio, 
Bospiriomm Finis, calamitatam in ressecundas Mutatio, dolorum Levamen, 
meorum vinculonun Solutio, salutis meee Spes^ ^reces meas exaudi, miserere 
meomm eemituum, et lamentationes meas ne abjieias ; miserere mei et flectant 
te mese iBichijmsB moveat te miserationis tuic aifectus erga me, quee amantis 
homines Dei es Mater; respice et annue supplicaticmibns meis, imple peti- 
tionem meam. — Oral, ii, in JPnaent. B. V. 

* Venenmt autem mttii omnia bona pariter com iUa. — Sap. vii, 11. 

s Omnium bononun Mater est, et veneront mihi omnia bona cum ilia, scilice 
Virginc, potest dicerc mundns. — P. iv. Tit. xv, cap. 20. 

* Inventa . . . Yirgine Maiia, inTenitur omae waam.-'Jk Contempt. B. M. in 

84 OUtt HOPE. 

intercession she obtains all that is necessary to enrich him 
with Divine grace. In the Book of Proverbs Mary herself 
tells us, that she possesses aU the riches of God, that is to 
say, His mercies, that she may dispense them in favour of 
her lovers : " With me are riches . . . and glorious riches 
. . . that I may enrich them that love me." ^ And, there- 
fore, Saint Bonaventure says, ' That we ought aU to keep 
our eyes constantly fixed on Mary's hands, that through 
them we may receive the graces that we desire.' * 

O, how many who were once proud, have become humble 
by devotion to Mary ! how many who were passionate, 
have become meek! how many in the midst of dark- 
ness, have found light ! how many who were in despair, 
have foimd confidence! how many who were lost, have 
found salvation by the same powerful means 1 And this 
she clearly foretold in the house of Elizabeth, in her own 
sublime canticle: "Behold, from henceforth, aU gene- 
rations shall call me blessed." ' And Saint Bernard, in- 
terpreting her words, says, ' all generations call thee 
blessed, because thou hast given life and glory to aU 
nations,^ for in thee sinners find pardon, and the just 

Perseverance in the grace of God.' * Hence the devout 
ianspergius makes our Lord thus address the world: 
' Men, poor children of Adam, who live surrounded by so 
many enemies, and in the midst of so many trials, endea- 
vour to honour my Mother and yours in a special manner : 
for I have given Mary to the world, that she may be your 
model, and that from her you may learn to lead good 
lives ; and also that she may be a refuge to which you 
can fly in all your afiSictions and trials. I have rendered 
this, my Daughter, such that no one need fear or have the 
least repugnance to have recourse to her; and for this 

1 Mecum snnt divitisB, et gloria, opes snperbce ... at ditem diligentei me.— 
Prov. viii, 18, 21. 

s Oculi omnium nostrum ad maniu Mariee semper debent tespioere, ut per 
manns cgus aliquid boni accipiamns. — In Spec. Led. iii. 

* Ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes . . . generationes.— Z«c. i 48. 

* Ex hoc . . . beatam te dicent omnes |[enerationes, qiue omnibus genentioni- 
bus vitam et ^loriam genuisti.— iSerm. ii, tn Pentee. 

* In te . . . justi gratiam, peocatores veniam, invenenmt in ctemum.— 5. Btrn, 
Strm. a, til Pentee. 

OUB HOtȣ. 85 

purpose I have created her of so benign and compassionate 
a disposition, that she knows not how to despbe any one 
who takes refuge with her, nor can she deny her favour to 
any one who seeks it. The mantle of her mercy is open 
to all, and she allows no one to leare her feet without 
consoling him.' ^ May the immense goodness of our (rod 
be ever praised and blessed for having given us this so 
great) so tender, so loving a Mother and Advocate. 

O God, how tender are the sentiments of confidence 
expressed by the enamoured St. Bonaventure towards 
Jesus, our most loving Bedeemer, and Mary our most 
loving Advocate. He says, 'Whatever God foresees to 
be my lot, I know that He cannot refuse Himself to any 
one who loves Him and seeks for Him with his whole 
heart. I will embrace Him with my love, and if He does 
not bless me, I will still cling to Him so closely that He will 
be unable to go without me. If I can do nothing else, at 
least I will hide myself in his wounds, and taking up my 
dwelling there, it will be in Himself alone that He wiU 
find me.' And the Saint concludes, 'If my Bedeemer 
rejects me, on account of my sins, and drives me from His 
sacred feet, I will cast myself at those of His beloved 
Mother, Maiy, and there I will remain prostrate until she 
has obtained my forgiveness ; for this Mother of Msicy 
knows not, and has never known, how to do otherwise 
than compassionate the miserable, and comply with the 
desires of the most destitute who fly to her for succour ; 
and, therefore,' he says» 'if not by duty, at least by com- 
passion, she will ei^age her Son to pardon me.' * 

1 Matrem meam devotione prsecipna vena-are . . . Ego cnim hanc mnndo dedi, 
in aanctiUtis, innocentio, ac pvritatu exemplnm, in sin^nilare patrodninm, et in 
piaesidium tntiaaimum, at sit tribnlatis ac desoLatis omnibua iniiuunitatis asyliuu, 
qnam nemo horret, nemo fomudet, nemo ad earn accedere trepidet. Propterea 
namque adeo fed earn niitem, adeo piau adeo niiaericordem, adeo denique 
bcniffliam et clementem, ut neniinem aspernetur, nolli se neget; omnibus pietatis, 
nnnm apertnm tcneat ; neminem a se redire tnstem, ant non eoniolatum sinat. 
—Op. Mill. lib. i, JUog. Can. 12. 

* Quantuiuciunquc me Bensjnnesciverit, scientia constat milii, et scio, quod 
seipsum negarc non potest. £um ergo totis visceribus amplexabor ... et si 
non luihi beiiedixerit, non ipsmn dimittam ; . . . et sine me recedere non valebit 
... In ca\ emis vulnerum suonmi me abscondam, ibiquc quietus latitabo, nee 
extra se me invenire potcrit. . . . Ant ad niatris sufe pedes provolutus stabo . . . 



'Look down 19011 ns, iken,' ki us eidaim, in the 
words of Eotldiiiiiis, 'look down npaa us, O mosi com- 
psssioiiate Mother; cast thine ejes ci mcny on ns, for 
we are th j senrants, and in thee we hare placed all our 
eonftdenoe/ ^ 

In the fourth part of the treasmy (^ the Kosarj, at the 
eighty-fifth miracle, it is related that there was a gentleman 
who was tendsihr devoted to the Divine Mother. He had 


orected an oaAarj in his dwidling, and there he used often 
to ranain in prayer before a beautifdl statue of Mary, and 
this not only daring the day bnt finequently at night ; he 
rose for the porpose of honouring his bdovied Lady. His 
wife (for he was married) who was otherwise a person of 
great piety, perceiTing that her husband rose fin>m his bed 
in the siloioe of the night, left his room, and did not 
rstnm for a considerable time, became jealoas, and sus- 
pected that all was not right. One day, in order to deliver 
neiself from her anxiety, she asked her husband if by 
ehance he loved another. The gentleman replied, with a 
smile, 'Ton must know that I love the most delightful lady 
In the world. To her I have given my heart, and I conld 
rather die than oease to love her; and did you but know 
her you would tell me to love her still more.' He was, 
of eourse, speaking of the most Messed Virgin whom be 
kved thus tenderly. His wife, however, became more and 
more uneasy, and i^ain questioned him that she might as- 
sure herself of the conectness of her suspieions : she asked 
him if by chance it was to visit this lady that he rose every 
night and left his room. That gentleman, quite unaware of 
the troubled state of his wife's mind, answered in the affir- 
mative. The lady then felt certain of that which she had 
falsely suspected, and, blinded by passion, one night that 
her husband as usual left the room, took a knife, and in 

ct nt mihi veniam impetzet implorabo. . . . Ipsa enim non misereri ignant^ et 

miMris nam satiflfacere nonqxuun scivit. . . Idfioqae ex oompassione maxima 

mihi ad indnlgentiaiii, suum unicnm Filiiim indioabit. — P. 3, Stim. Ifh. Am. 
e. ziiL 

^.Befpice Hater miaericoirdiowMima, lespice servos tao0} in te enim cnmem 
q;»emiioitnan ooQocayimas. — Or. de Deip. t 


despair cat lier throat and shortly expiied. The geatie- 
man tAer fhiiRhing his derotioiii letunied to his room, 
but getting into bed he fonnd it wet. He caUed his 
wife, but leceiTed no answer. He shook her, bnt in 
vain. He then got a light, and saw the bed saturated 
with bhx)d, and lus wife with her throat cut, and a corpse. 
In an instant the truth flashed across his mind, and he 
peroeired that in a fit of jealoui^ she had destroyed hts* 
sdtf. He instantly hx^ed the door of the rocMn, returned 
to the ehapd, and there prostrate before the imafpe of 
Mary sobbhig bittoly, he cried out : ' my Mother* see, see 
mv aJBictinn. If thim dost not relieve me to whom can I 
hate reoourseP Consider that by coming to honour thee 
I have incuned the misf<ntune of seeing my wife dead and 
etamalty lost. My Mother, thou canst reme^ this, oh, de 
so. And who ever invoked this Mother of mercy with eon^ 
fidanoe without obtaining what he asked? Fw scaroely 
bad be finished his prayer when he heard a servant ealbng 
horn : * Sir, go to your room for your lady wants you.' 
The gentieman in the excess of his joy could seuedy 
beliBve the servant. * Betum,' he said, * and see again if 
she really wants me.' The servant came badi repealinfr; 
<Go qaicUy, for my mistress is waitiBg for yoTH. 
went, opened the door, and bdield his wife alive. She 
immediately threw herself at his feet, and in tears asked 
his pardon^ saying, 'Ah, my husband, the Mother of Giod 
tlmmgh thy j»ayers has delivered me fiom hell.' Th^ 
than went together to the oratory, weeping for joy, to 
return thanks to the most iJUessed Virgin* On the folr 
lowing morning the husband gave a grand feast to all his 
relatious, and made his wife herself relate the whde his* 
toiy ; and she showed the mark of the wound whidi still 
x^nained, and thus aU were more and more inflamed with 
love towards the Divine Mother. 


Oh Mother of holy love, our life, our refuge, and our 
hope, thou well knowest that thy son, Jesus Chtist, not 

BS oub hofb. 

eontettt with biding himself our perpetual advocate with 
the eternal Father, has willed that thou also shouldst in^ 
terest thyself with Him, in order to obtain the Divine 
mercies for us. He has deOTeed that thy prayers should 
aid our salvation, and has made them so efficacious that 
they obtain all that they ask. To thee, therdbre» who art 
the hope of the miserable, do I, a wretched sianer^ turn 
my eyes. I trust, O Lady, that in the first place, through 
the merits of Jesus Christ, and then, through thy inter- 
cession, I shall be saved. Of this, I am certain, and my 
confidence in thee is such, that if my eternal salvation was 
in my own hands, I should place it in thine, for I rely 
more on thy mercy and protection than on all my own 
works. My Mother and my hope, abandon me not, though 
} deserve that thou shouldst do so. See my miseries, and 
being moved thereby with compassion, help and save me. 
I own that I have too often closed my heart, by my sins, 
against the lights and helps that thou hast procured for 
me from' our Lord. But thy compassion for the miserable, 
and thy power with God, far surpass the number and malice 
of my sins. It is well known to all, both in heaven and 
on earth, that whosoever is protected by thee is certainly 
saved. All may forget me, provided only that thou 
dost remember me, O Mother of an Omnipotent God. 
Tell Him that I am thy servant ; say only that thou de- 
fendest me, and I shall be saved. O Mary, I trust in thee ; 
in this hope I live ; in it I desire and hope to die, repeat- 
ing always, ' Jesus is my only hope, and after Jesus, the 
most Blessed Virgin Mary. ^ 

Section II. — Mary is the Hojpe of Sinners. 

In the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, we read, 
that " God made two great lights ; a greater light to rule 
the day ; and a lesser light to rule the night." ^ Cardinal 
Hugo says, that * Christ is the greater light to rule the 

* Uiiida iipes rata. Jesns, tt post Jesum Virgo Maria. 

* Jb'ecitQue Dcus duo hirainum magna: Inminare iniyus ut praecssct diei; ct 
luminare Tuinns, iit"i)r{ip?s3et nocti.— (?(?», i, IG. 


juflt^ and Vaiy, the lesser to rule sinners.'^ MesniBg 
that the sun is a figure of Jesns Christ, whose light is en* 
joyed by t^e just who liye in the clear day of Divine grace; 
and that the moon is a figure of Mary, by whose means 
those who are in the night of sin are enlightened. Since 
Maiy is this auspicious biminaiy, and is so for the benefit 
of poor sinners, should any one have been so unfortunate as 
to fall into the night of sin, what is he to do P Innocent 
nj replies, ' whoever is in the night of sin let him cast his 
eyes mi the moon, let him implore Mary.' * Since he has 
lost the light of tiie sun of justice, by losing the grace ci 
Grod, let him turn to the moon, and beseech Maiy, and 
she will certainly give him light to see the misery of his 
state, and strength to leave it without delay. St. Metho« 
dins says, ' that by the prayers of Maiy, ahnost innumerable 
sinners are convorted.'^ 

One of the titles which is the most encouraging to poor 
sinness, and under which the church teaches us to invoke 
Mary in the Litany of Loretto, is that of ' Befnge of sinners.' 
In Judea, in ancient times, there were cities of refuge, in 
which criminals, who fled there for protection, were exempt 
from the punishments which they had deserved. Now-a* 
days, these cities are not so numerous ; there is but one, 
and that is Mary, of whom the Psalmist says, " Glorious 
" things are said of thee, O city of God " ^ But this city 
differs from the ancient ones in this respect, that in the 
latter all kinds of criminals did not find refuge, nor was 
the protection extended to every class of crime ; but under 
the mantle of Mary, aU sinners, without exception, find 
refuge for every sin that they may have committed, pro* 
vided only that they go there to seek for this protection. 
' I am the city of refuge,' says St. John Damascene, in the 
name of our Queen ' to all who fly to me.'^ 

1 Lmninare migiu, Cairistiui qui pnoett did, idest justis. Luminare minm 
Bcata Maria, quae pneest peccatoribiu.— /» Lib. Chn. cap. i. 

* Qui . . . jacet m nocte culpffi, respiciat Iimuo, deprecdnr Hariaio. Serm. ii, 
ie Au. B. V. 

* Karite viztate et precibos pene innumene peGcatonun oonrennoiies finni. t 
'* Gioiiosa dicta rant de te, dvitas Dei.>-P«. Ixxxri, 8. 

* Ego lis qui ad me coaftigiimt, dvitas reftum.---J70ii». ii, m Jkrrm. B. U, T, 



And it is sufficient to have recourse to her, for whoever 
has the good fortune to enter this city need not speak to 
be saved. "Assemble yourselves, and let us enter into 
the fenced city, and let us be silent there," ^ to speak in the 
words of the Prophet Jeremias. This city, says blessed 
Albert the Great, is the most holy Virgin fenced in with 
grace and glory. *And let us be silent there,' that is, con- 
tinues an interpreter, * Because we dare not invoke the 
Lord, whom we have offended, she will invoke and ask; '^ 
For if we do not presume to ask our Lord to forgive us, 
it will suffice to enter this city and be silent; for Mary will 
speak and ask all that we require. And for this reason, a 
devout author exhorts all sinners to take refuge under the 
mantle of Mary, exclaiming, * Fly, O Adam and Eve, and 
all you, their children, who have outraged God; fly, 
and take refuge in the bosom of this good Mother ; know 
you not that she is our only city of refuge,' * the only hope 
of sinners,' •'' as she is abo called in a sermon by an ancient 
writer, found in the works of Saint Augustine * 

Saint Ephrem, addressing this Blessed Virgin says, ' Thou 
art the only advocate of sinners, and of all who are unpro- 
tected.' And then he salutes her in th6 following words : 
* Hail refuge and hospital of sinners,'* true reftige, in which 
alone they can hope for reception and liberty. And 
an author remarks that this was the meaning of David when 
he said," For he hath hidden me in his tabernacle." ^ xVnd 
truly what can this tabernacle of God be unless it is Mary, 
who is called by Saint Germanus, * A tabernacle made by 
God, in which he alone entered to accomplish the great 
work of the redemption of man.'^ Saint Basil of Seleucia 

^ Conveiiite, et ingrediamur civitatem munitam, et aileamua ibi. — Jerem. yiii,14. 

* Et sfleamas ibi, quia non andemus dcprecari Dominimi quern offenc^us sed 
ipsa deprecetur et roget. — Bib. Mar. in Jerem. No. 8. 

' Fngite, Adam et Eva, fugite ipsorum liberi et absoondite vos intra ununi 
Dei Matris Marise : Ipsa est homicidis civitas rcfugii, spes unica peccatorum. — 
Jtenedictus Fernandez in Lib. Gen. cap. iii, sect. 33. 

* Spes unica peccatorum. — Serm. de Sand. Int. Op. St. Avgiislini, i deAnnune, 
£• M.. V. 

* Ave peccatorum refugium atque diversorium. — De Land. Virg. 
^ Protexit me in abscondito tabemacuU sui. — Ts. xxvi, 5. 

7 Tabemaculum non manufactum scd a Deo fabricatum, in quod solus Deus 
Verbum ct primus Pontifex in fine seeculorum semcl ingressus est, sacris mysticia 
occnltc operatunis in te pro salute omnium.—//* iVii/, 5. XH^ Mat, 


remarks, ' thai if God granted to some who weie only His 
servants, snch power, that not onhr their touch, but even 
their shadows healed the sick, who were placed for this 
purpose in the public streets ; how much greater power 
must we suppose that He has granted to her, who was not 
only His handmaid but His Mother.'^ We may indeed 
say, that our Lord has giyen us Mary as a public infirmary, 
in which all who are sick, poor, and destitute, can be re- 
ceived. But now, I ask, in hospitals erected expressly for 
the poor, who have the greatest daim to admission ? Cer* 
tainty the most infirm, and those who are in the greatest 

And for this reason, should any one find himself devoid 
of merit and overwhelmed with spiritual infirmities, that 
is to sav sin, he can thus address Mary : O Lady, thou art 
the refuge of the sick poor, reject me not ; for as I am the 
poorest and most infiim of all, I have the greatest right to 
be welcomed by thee. Let us then cry out with Saint 
Thomas of ViQanova, ' O Mary, we poor sinners know no 
other refuge than thee, for thou art our only hope, and on 
thee we rely for our salvation.' - Thou art our only advo- 
cate with Jesus Christ , to thee we all turn ourselves. 

In the revelations of St. Bridget, Mary is called the 
'Star preceding the sun,'^ givii^g us thereby to under- 
stand, that when devotion towards the Divine Mother 
begins to manifest itself in a soul that is in a state of sin, 
it is a certain mark that before long, Grod will enrich it 
with His grace. Hie glorious Ssont Bonaventure, in 
order to revive the confidence of sinners in the protection 
of Maiy, places before them the picture of a tempestuous 
sea, into which sinners have already fallen from the ship 
of Divine grace, they are already dashed about on every 
side, by remorse of conscience and by fear of the judgment^ 

^ Siqaidcm enim Dens tantam servis inipcrtitas est gratiam at uou solum tuctu 
le^tos sanarent, sed et urabnc ipsius projcctu idcui pncstarcnt. Proponcbant 
enim medio ^so foro sezratos, &c. Quimtam putandus Matri conccssisac virtu- 
tcm* — Serm. im S. Dn, 6ff«. M. Orat^ xxxix. 

* Nescimna aliad refiigiiuu nisi te, tu sola es unica spcs uostra, in qua oonfi • 
diraoa, tu sola patrona nostra, ad quam oomes aspicimns. — S. iii 4c NtU, B. T. 

> Tu es quaa sidus vadcna ante aolcn).--jR(rr. Mxtr., cap. i. 


of God; they aie wiAout Hgfat or guide, and are on 
the poiat of losing the last breath of hope, and iaUing 
into despair; then it is that our Lord, pointing out 
Maiy to them, who is commonly caDed the ' Star of the 
Sea,' raises His Toice, and says, ' O poor lost sinners, de- 
spair not : raise up your eyes, and cast them on this beaa- 
tilul star ; breathe again with confidence, fcnr it will save 
you from this tempest, and will guide you into the port of 
salYation.' ^ Saint B^nard says the same thing : ' If thou 
wonldst not be lost in the tempest, cast thine eyes on the 
Star, and invoke Maiy,' - And the devout Bloaius d^ 
dares, that ' she is the only refuge of those who have 
oiEmded God,' the asylum of all who are oppressed by- 
temptation, calamity, or persecution.^ Hus Mother is 
all merc^, benignity, and sweetness, not only to the just, 
but also to despairing sinners,^ so that no sooner doea 
she peredve them coming to her and seeking her help from 
their hearts, than she auds them, welcomes them, and ob- 
tains their pardon from her Son.' She knows not how 
to despise any one, however unworthy he may be of mercy, 
and therefore denies her protection to none ; she consoles 
all, and is no sooner caUed upon, than she helps whoever 
it may be that invokes her. ^ She, by her sweetness, often 
awakens and draws sinners to her devotion who are the 
most at enmity with (rod, and the most deeply plunged in 
the lethargy oi sin ; and then, by the same means, she excites 
them effectually, and prepares them for grace, and thus 
rendera them fit for the kingdom of heaven.^ God has 

1 BcMinte ad fll«m p«diti peoettont: ct popdacct vob ad ladvlgeatMB par* 
taa^—^. ^onov. in Fs. xviii. 

* Si non iris obrui procelKi . . . le^oe ■teHam, voca Marina.— Aip Mutms $ii 

* Ipaa peceutinm ringulare refngium. — In Can. fit. Sp. of. xriiL 

« Ipca<miiiia]ii, qnoatntatio^ mlaiiiitai, ant pgraecatio aliquaiugettiftiBnnQm 

* Tota mita eat tota serene, tota soaTis, tota benigna, non aohun jnitu et 
peifectii, Terom etiam peccatonbna ac desperatis. — Jh. 

* Qnoi, lit ad se ex ooide damare conspexerit, statim a^jnrat, auscipit, foret, et 
metnendo Jndid matema fidncia reconcuiat. — lb. 

' TfnUnm a^emator, unlli se negat : onmes oonaolator, omniboB iinuin pietatia 
aperit, et Tel tenniter invocata, pnesto adeat. — lb. 

* 8na ingenita bonitate atqne dolcedine aiepe eos, qui Beo minna affldnntiir, 
adioicaltnni blande allidt; potenter^e exatat: ntper btgnaeemodia tndnon 
pneparentiir ad gratiain, ct taadcm apti reddantor regno cnlorum.— A. 


enskted tins His beloved daughter of so compassionate 
and sweet a disposition, that no one can fear to liave 
reeonne to her/' The pions author concludes in these 
words : * It is impossible for any one to perish who atten- 
tivelj, and with humility, cultivktes derotion towards this 
Divine Mother.' « 

In Eodesiasticns, Mary is called a plane tree : *' As a 
pl»ie tree I was exalted."'^ And she is so called that 
tinners m^ understand, that as the plane tree gives 
belter to travellers £rom the heat of the sun, so does 
Mary invite them to take shelter under her protection 
firom the wrath of God, justly enkindled against them. 
Saint Bonaventure remarks, that the prophet Isaias com- 
plained of the times in which he lived, saying, '*Be« 
hold thou art angry, and we have sinned . . there is 
nmie . . . that riseth up and taketh hold of thee."^ And 
then he makes the following commentary: ' It is true, O 
Lord, that at that time there was none to raise up sinners, 
and withhold thy wrath, for Mary was not yet bom ;' ' be- 
fore Mary,' to quote the Saint's own words, * there was no 
one who oould thus dare to restrain the arm of God.' ^ But 
now, if God is angry with a sinner, and ^fary takes him 
under her protection, she withholds the avenging arm of 
her Son, and saves him.'^ * And so,' continues the same 
Saint, * no one can be found more fit for this office than 
Maiy, who seizes the sword of Divine justice with her 
own hands to prevent it from falling upon and punishing 
the sinner.' ? Upon the same subject blessed Albert the 
Great says, that ' God, before the birth of Mary, complained 
by the mouth of the Prophet Ezechiel, that there was no one 
to rise up and withhold him from chastising sinners, but that 

1 Talis est, talis a Deo facta est, talis nobis data est . . .nt nemo ad earn accedere 
trnndet.— i». 
^ Fieri non potest, at pereat, qui Marise sednlns et linxaiUa coltor f aerit— i>. 

* Qnasi plataniu ex;dtata sum. — Eecl. xxir, 19. 

* Zcce tu iratus es, ct peccavimns . . . non est qui consnrgat, et teneat tc. 

— /*. Uir, 5, 7- 

• Ante Mariam non fult qni sic detincre Doniinnni andcrct. — In Spec. Lectrii. 

• TtetiniCt Klinm, ne peccatorcs pcrcntiat — .Spec. J). V. J/. Lect. \u. 

' >'cnio tniii idoncos JDoniinn. qui gladio Doniini pro nobis manum objiciat, at 
ttl Dri ainautissima, — Si-fc. JJ. Jf. V. Lect. vi. 


He could find no one, for this office was reseired for our 
Blessed Lady, wlio withholds his ann until he is pacified/^ 
An ancient writer encourages sinners, saying, ' 0, sinner, 
be not discouraged, but have recourse to Mary in all thy 
necessities; call her to thine assistance, for thou wilt 
always find her ready to help thee : for such is the Diviiie 
will that she should help all in erery kind of necessity.' 
Thi^ Mother of mercy has so great a desire to sare ^e 
most abandoned sinners, that she herself goes in search of 
them in order to help them, and if they have reooume to 
her she knows how to find the means to i^ender them 
aeceptable to God. 

The Pattiarch Isaac, desiring to eat of some wild ammai« 
promised his blessing to his son Esau on his proomng 
this food for him; but Bebecoa, who was anxious that 
her other son Jacob should receive the blessing, called him 
and said, " Go thy way to the flook, bring me two kids of 
the best, that I may make of them meat for thy father, 
aaeh as he gladly ei^th." ^ Saint Antoninus says, ^ that 
Bebeoea was a flguie of Mftiy, who commands the angds 
to bring her sinners (meant by kids), that she may adorn 
them in such a way (by obtaining for Uiem sorrow and pur- 
pose of amendment) as to render them dear and aoeeptable 
to her Lord.' And here we may well apply to our Blessed 
Xiady the words of the Abbot S'ranoo : ' O truly sagaiabas 
weman, who so well knew how to dress these kids, that not 
only they are equal to, but often superior in flavmur to 
real v^misom.' ^ 

The Bessed Virgin herself revealed to Saint Bridget, 
* that there is no sinner in the world, however mueh he 
may be at enmity with God, who does not return to Him 
and recover His grace if he has recourse to her and asks 
her assistance.' ^ The same Saint Bridget one day heard 

> "QiaaAii deetsTiranquiinterpoiieret sepem,'* id est intercessioueA, ''et rtaict 
oppotitns contra me, pro terra," id est peccatore, " ne dissiparem earn et non 
inveni," quia hoc reservatom est Virgini Mariee. — Bibl. Mar. m EzechieL "So. 6. 

* Pttrgeus ad gregem, affer mihi duos luedoe optimos.— ffm. xxrii, 0. ' 

* Vere stmiens mulier, quae sic novit heedos coquere, sic eondiie : nt jtritiam 
^prearum et cervortuh coeequent, ant etiam superent. — lib. iii, de Oral 2>. 

' ^ Ku&iiB ita alienatus est de Deo . . . qtu si me invoeiirerit, non rcvertatur ad 
Denm.— JSfv. Lib. vi, cap. 10. 

orm HOPS. ftS 

Jesus Govt address His Mbtber, and saj, that 'she 
would be lead^ to obtam the grace of God for Ladfer 
r, if onfy he humbled himsdf so fin- as to seek her 
1 That prood spirit wiO never humble himself so far 
as to implore the protection of Maiy; but if sndi a thing 
were possible, Muy woold be sofficientfy compassionate, 
and ha prayers would hare sufficient powor to obtain both 
f oAgiveac sB and salration for him from Qod. But that 
which cannot be Terified with regard to the devfl, is Yerified 
in the case ci sinners, who have recourse to this compas- 
sionate Mother. 

Noah's aik was a trae figure of Maiy, for, as in it all 
kinds of beasts were ssTcd, so under the mantle of Maiy 
ail simMvs, who by their vices and sensuality are already 
like beasts, find refoge: but with this difference, as a pious 
author remaiks, that ' while the brates that entned the 
aik remained brutes, the wolf remaining a wolf, and the 
tiger a tigor ; under the mantle ci Miury, on the other 
himd, the wolf becomes a lamb, and the tiger a dove.' 
One day Saint Gertnide saw Mary with her mantle <^>en, 
and under it there were many wild beasts of different 
kinds, — leopaods^ lioiis, and bcairs ; and she saw that not 
only our Blessed Lady did not drive them away, but that she 
weJeomed and eareased ihem with her benign hand. The 
Saint understood that these wild beasts were miserable 
sinners, who are welcomed by Mary with sweetness and 
love the moment they have recourse to her.* 

It was then,notwithout reason that St. Bernard addressed 
the Bkssed Virgin, saying, 'Thou, O Lady, dost not reject 
any sinner who approaches thee, however loathsome and 
repugnant he may be. If he asks thy assistance, thou dost 
not disdain to extend thy compassionate hand to him, to 
extricate him from the gidf of despair.'^ May our God be 
eternally blessed and thanked, O most amiable Mary, for 

1 £tiain . . . diabolo exlulierei misericordiaiii si hmniliter peteret.— J{rr.£rfr.£ 

* Bloaxa.—Conc. An.fd. cap. i 

* Tn peccatorem qnantimiKbet f^etidiim non horres, nee desnids u ad et 
rannYcrit. . . . Ta ilhua a deapentioBis banfthro pia naau retnaii.— JSiyr. mi 


having created thee so sweet and benign, even towards 
|,he most miserable sinners. Truly unfoi-tunatc is ho Avho 
loves thee not, and who, having it in his power to obtain 
thy assistance, has no coniidencc in thee. He who has 
not recourse to Mary is lost ; but who was ever lost that 
had recourse to this most Blessed Virgin ? 

It is related, in the sacred scriptures, that Booz allowed 
Huth "to gather the ears of com, after the reapers."^ 
St. Bonaventure says, * that as Buth found favour with 
Booz, so has Mary found favour with our Lord, and is 
also allowed to gather the ears of corn, after the reapers. 
The reapers followed by Mary are all evangelical labourers, 
missionaries, preachers, and confessors, who are constantly 
reaping souls for God. But there are some hardened and 
rebellious souls, which are abandolied, even by these. To 
Maiy alone is it granted to save them, by her powerful 
intercession.** Truly unfortunate are they, if they do not 
allow themselves to be gathered, even by this sweet Lady. 
They will indeed be most certainly lost and accursed. But 
on the other hand, blessed is he who has recourse to this 
good Mother. * There is not in the world,' says the devout 
Blosius, * any sinner, however revolting and wicked, who 
is despised or rejected by Maiy; she^ can, she wills, and 
she knows, how to reconcile him to lier most beloved Son, 
if only he will seek her assistance.' ^ 

With reason then, O my most sweet Queen, did St. John 
Damascene salute and caU thee the * Hope of those who are 
in despair.'^ With reason did St. Lawrence Justinian call 
thee * The hope of malefactors ;' ^ and another ancient 
writer, * The only hope of sinners.' ^ St. Ephrem calls her 
' The safe harbour of all sailing on the sea of this world. '7 

^ GoUigebat spicas post terga metentium. — Rutkt ii, 9. 

* Bnth ergo in ociuis Booz, Maria in oculis Domini hanc CTatiam invenit, ut 
ipia Bpicas, idest animas a messoribus derelictas, coUigere ad reniam, possit.— 
Jh Sow. B. V. M. Lect. y. 

s Nulliuii taiii execrabilem peccatorem orbis habet, quem ipsa abominetnr, et a 
se repelltit, ^ucmque dilectissimo nato suo (niodo suam precetur opem) non possit, 
•ciat, et velit reconciliare.— &iff. ^it. Fid. p. iii, cap. v. 

* Salve spcs desperatonun. t 

* Deliuquvntiiun Spes. — Serm. in Nat. B. V. M. 

< Spes unica peccatonim. — Sena, de Saneiis tut. op. S. Anguslitu. I de Annunt. 
7 Ave portus tutissinie in hac vita navigantiuiu.— iSVr«(. de Laud. S. Dei Gen. M. 

oum HOPS. 97 

This last-named Saint also calls her ' The consolation of 
those who are in despair.'^ With reason, finally, does 
St. BonaTenture exhort even the desperate not to despair ; 
and full of joy and tenderness towards his most deai 
Mother, he lovingly exclaims : ' And who, O Lady, can he 
without confidence in thee, since thou assistest even those 
who are in despair ; and I doubt not that whenever we 
have recourse to thee, we shall obtain all that we desire. 
Let him then, who is without hope, hope in thee.* ' St. 
Antoninus relates, that there was a sinner at enmitv with 
God, who had a vision, in which he found himself before 
the dread tribunal; the devil accused him, and Mary 
defended him. The enemy produced the catalogue of his 
sins ; it was thrown into the scales of Divine justice, and 
weighed far more than all his good works. But then his 
great Advocate, extending her sweet hand, placed it on 
the balance, and so caused it to turn in favour of her 
client ; giving him thereby to understand, that she would 
obtain Ms pardon, if he changed his life ; and this he did 
after the vision, and was entirely converted. 


Blessed John Herold, who out of humility called himself 
the Disciple, relates, that there was a married man, who 
lived at enmity with God. His wife, who was a virtuous 
woman, being unable to engage him to give up sin, begged 
him, in the wretched state in which he was, to practise at 
least the devotion of saluting our Blessed Lady with a * Hail 
Mary,' each time that he might pass before her picture. He 
began to do so. One night this wretched man was on 
his way to commit a crime, when he perceived a light at 
a distance : he drew near to see what it was, and found 
that it was a lamp, burning before a devout picture of 
Maiy, holding the child Jesus in her arms. He at once, 
according to custom, said the ' Hail Maiy.' In the same 

1 Bespenntraiii ccmaolatio.— PrM. V.adlki Mat. 

s Qpii enim non sperabit in te, qiub etiam aAJuvas deapcroutet f . . . Non 
dnbito, quod, ti ad te yenerimiu, habebiiatui quod Toluerimiu. In te ergo spei-et 
qn dMpar«t,--A(f). &!». i2«^ 



moment, he beheld the Divine In&nt covered with wounds, 
from which fresh blood was streaming. Terriiied, and at 
the same time, moved to compassion, at this sight, he 
leflected that it was he, who, by his sins, had thus wounded 
his Eedeemer. He burst into tears, but the Divine infant 
turned his back to him. EiUed with shame, he appealed 
to the most Blessed Virgin, saying : * Mother of Mercy, 
thy Son rejects me : I can find no advocate more compas- 
sionate and more powerful than thee, for thou art his 
Mother ; my Queen, do thou help me, and iutercede for 
me.' The Divine Mother, speaking from the picture, 
replied : * You sinners call me Mother of Mercy, but, at 
the same time, you cease not to make me a Mother of 
Sorrows, by crucifying my Son afresh, and renewing my 
sorrows.' But as Maiy can never let any one leave her 
feet disconsolate, sh6 began to implore her Son to pardon 
this miserable wretch. Jesus continued to show himself 
unwilling to do so. The most Blessed Virgin, seeing this, 
placed lum in the niche, and, prostrating herself before 
him, said : ' My Son, I will not leave thy feet until thou 
hast pardoned this sinner.' * My Mother,' then said Jesus, 
* I can deny thee nothing ; thou wiliest that he should be 
forgiven; for love of thee I pardon him; make him 
come and kiss my wounds.' The sinner, sobbing and weep- 
ing, did so, and, as he kissed them, the wounds were healed. 
Jesus then embraced him, as a mark of forgiveness, and 
he changed his life, which, ftx)m that time, was one of 
hoKness ; and he always preserved the most tender love 
and gratitude towards this Blessed Virgin, who had 
obtained him so great a gi'aoe. 

most pure Virgin Mary, I worship thy most holy heart 
which w&s the delight and resting-place of God, thy heart 
overflowing with humility, purity, and Divine love. I, an 
unhappy sinner, approach thee with a heart all loathsome and 
wounded. O compassionate Mother, disdain me not on 
this account ; let such a sight rather move thee to greater 


tenderness, and exdte thee to help me. Do not stay to 
seek virtues or merit in me before assisting me. I am 
lost, and the only thing I merit is hell. See only my 
confidence in thee and the purpose I have to amend. 
Consider all that Jesus has done and si^ffered for me, and 
then abandon me if thou canst. I offer thee all the pains 
of His life ; the cold that He endured in the stable ; His 
journey into Egypt; the blood which He shed; the poverty, 
sweats, sorrows, and death that He endured for me; and 
this in thy presence. For the love of Jesus take charge 
of my salvation. Ah my Mother, I will not and cannot 
fear that thou wilt rqect me, now that I have xecouiw to 
thee and ask thy help. Did I fear this, I shouldbe offering ap 
outrage to thy mercy, which goes in quest of the wretched, 
in order to help them, Lady, denv not thy compassioij 
to one to whom Jesus has not denied llis blood. But the 
merits of this blood will not be applied to me unless thou 
recommendest me to God. Through thee do I hope for 
salvation. I ask not for riches, honours, or earthly goods. 
I seek only the grace of God, love towards thy Son, the 
accomphshment of His will, and His heavenly kingdom, 
that I may Iqve Him eternally. Is it possible that thou 
wilt not heat me ? No : for already thou hast granted my 
prayer, as I hope ; already thou prayest for me ; already 
thou obtaiuest jne the graces that I ask; already thou 
takest me under thy protection ; my Mother, abandon me 
not. Never, never cease to pray for me until thou seest 
me safe in heaven at thy feet, blessing and thanking thee 
for ever, Ameu. 




Section L-^On the promptUude of Mary in amding thorn 

who invoke her. 

SKULT unfortunate are we poor cbildTen of Eve ; for, 
guilty before God of her fault, and condemned to the 
same penalty, we have to wander about in this valley of tears 
as exUes from our country, and to weep over our many 
afflictions of body and soul. But blessed is he who, in 
in the midst of these sorrows, often turns to the comfortress 
of the world, to the refuge of the unfortunate, to the great 
Mother of God, and devoutly calls upon her and invokes 
her ! " Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that 
watcheth daily at my gates." ^ Blessed, says Maiy, is 
he who listens to my counsels, and watches continually at 
the gate of my mercy, and invokes my intercession and 
aid. The holy Church carefully teaches us her children with 
what attention and confidence we should unceasingly have 
recourse to this loving protectress ; and for this purpose 
commands a worship peculiar to Mary. And not only 
this, but she has instituted so many festivals that are cele- 
brated throughout the year in honour of this great Queen: 
she devotes one day in the week, in an especial manner, 
in her honour : in the Divine office, all ecclesiastics and 
reHgious are daily obliged to invoke her in the name of 
all Christians ; and, finsdly, she desires that all the faithful 
should salute this most holy Mother of God three times a 
day, at the sound of the angelus bell. And, that we may 
understand the confidence that the holy Church has in 

^ Beatufl homo, qui audit mc et qui vigilat ad fares neas quotidie.— P/vv. riii 


Mary, we need only remember that in all public calamities 
she inyariably invites all to have recourse to the protection 
of this Divine Mother, by novenas, prayers, processions, 
by visiting the chiu-ches, dedicated in her honour, and 
her images. And this is what Mary desires. She wishes 
us always to seek her and invoke her aid ; not as if she 
were begging of us these honours and marks of veneration, 
for they are in no way proportioned to her merit ; but she 
desires them, that by such means our confidence and devo- 
tion may be increased, and that so she maybe able to give 
us greater succour and comfort. * She seeks for those,* 
says Saint Bonaventure, *who approach her devoutly and 
with reverence, for 'such she loves, nourishes, and adopts 
as her children.'^ 

This last-named Saint remarks, that Euth, whose name 
signifies * seeing and hastening,* was a figure of Mary ; 
' for Mary, seeing our miseries, hastens in her mercy to 
succour us.' ^ Novarino adds, that • Mary, in the great- 
ness of her desire to help us, cannot admit of delay, for 
she is in no way an avaricious guardian of the graces she 
has at her disposal as Mother of Mercy, and cannot do 
otherwise than immediately shower down the treasures of 
her liberality on her servants.' * 

O how prompt is this good Mother to help those who 
call upon her. " Thy two breasts,*' says the sacred Can- 
ticle, "are like two roes that are twins."* Richard of 
Saint Lawrence explains this verse, and says that, as roes 
are swift in their course, so are the breasts of Mary prompt 
to bestow the milk of mercy on all who ask it. *By the light 
pressure of a devout salutation and prayer they distil large 
drops.' *» The same author assures us that the compassion 

^ Ipsa tales ^luerit, qui ad earn devote, et reyercnter accedant. Hoa enim 
dSigit, hos nutrit, hos in filios suos suscipit.— iS/im. Am. p. ii^ cap. 16. 

' Yidens etiam. nostram missmiu est, et featiuans ad impendendam soain 
misericordiam. — Spec. B. M. V. lect. v. 

' Neadt nectere moras benefadendi cupida, nee gratiarum avara custos est :* 
tardare nescit molimina misericordiae mater, beneficentise sute thesauros in sues 
eiftunira. — Nov. Vtnbr. Fira, Exc. Ixsii. 

♦ Duo ubera tua, sicut duo hWiili caprea. — Cant. iv. 5. 

* Compressione levissima devotee satatationis et oratiouis, krga distillabit 
itfllicidia.->Lib. i, cap. 7< 



of Mary is poured out on every one who asks it, even should 
it be sought for by no other prayer than- a simple * Hail 
Mary.' Wherefore Novarino dedares that the Blessed 
Virgin not only runs but flies to assist him who invokes 
her. * She,' says this author, *in the exercise of her mercy, 
knows not how to act differently from God ; for, as He 
flies at once to the assistance of those who beg His aid, 
faithful to His promise, " Ask and you shall receive," ^ so 
Mary, whenever she is invoked, is at once ready to assist 
him who prays to her. * God has wings when He assists 
His own, and immediately flies to them ; Mary also takes 
wing when she is about to fly to our aid.' ^ 

And hence we see who the woman was, spoken of in 
the following verse of the Apocalypse, to whom two great 
eagle's wings were given, that she might fly to the desert. 
" And there were given to the woman two wings of a great 
eagle, that she might fly into the desert."^ Eibeira 
explains these wings to mean the love with which Mary 
always flew to God. ' She has the wdngs of an eagle, for 
she flies with the love of God.'* But the blessed Amadeus, 
more to our purpose, remarks, that these wings of an eagle 
signify ' the velocity, exceeding that of the Seraphim, with 
which Mary always flies to the succour of her children.' ^ 

This will explain a passage in the Gospel of St. Luke, 
in which we are told, that, when Mary went to visit and 
shower graces on Saint Elizabeth, and her whole family, 
she was not slow, but went with speed. The Gospel says, 
" And Mary, rising up, went into the hiU country with 
haste."* And this is not said of her return. Por a simi- 
lar reason, we are told, in the sacred Canticles, that the 
hands of Mary are used to the lathe : " Her hands are 

1 Petite ct accipictis.— J<Mm. xyi, 24. 

" Alia ntitur Peus, nt snii opitnletur, statim ac^volat: elas Bnmit et Virgo, ia 
nostri auxilium advolatura. — Exeiurs. 73. 

* £t datfc nint mulicri aim diue aquilse magnai, utTolaret in deaertum.— > 
Jpoc xii, 14. 

* Pe^as habet aquilse, quia . . . amore Dei volat.— /n Jpoe. xii, 4. 

* iiotu . . . celemmi aenas seraphim alas excedens . . . ubique suis nt Mater 
Jncundissiina et miriflcentiBsiina occurrit. — De laud. Virg. Horn. viii. 

< Exiirgcns autem Maria in diebua ilJis abiit in monnuia cnm festinatione.— 
Lmc. i, 39. 


skilful at the wheel," ^ meaning, says Richard of St. 
Lawrence, 'that- as the art of turning is the easiest and 
most expeditious mode of working, so also is Mary the 
most willing and prompt of all the Saints, to assist her 
dients.* * And truly *she has the most ardent desire to 
console all, and is no sooner inyoked than she accepts the 
prayers, and helps.' ^ St. Bonaventure then was right in 
calling Mary the ' salvation of all who call upon her ;** 
meaning, that it suffices to invoke this Divine Mother, in 
order to be saved, for, according to Eichard of St. Law- 
rence, she is always ready to help those who seek her aid. 

* Thou wilt always find her ready to help thee.' ^ And, 
Bemardine de Busto adds, * That this great Lady is more 
desirous to grant us graces, than we are desirous to receive 
them.' « 

Nor should the multitude of our sins diminish our con- 
fidence, that Mary will grant our petitions, when we cast 
ourselves at her feet. She is the Mother of Mercy, but 
mercy would not be needed did none exist who require 
it. On this subject, Eichard of St. Lawrence remarks, 

* That as a good mother does not shrink from applying a 
remedy to her child, infected with ulcers, however nauseous 
and revolting they may be, so also is our good Mother 
unable to abandon us, when we have recourse to her, that 
she may heal the wounds caused by our sins, however 
loathsome they may have rendered us.' 7 This is exactly 
what Mary gave Saint Gertrude to understand, when she 
showed herself to her, with her mantle spread out to receive 
all who had recourse to her. At the same time the Saint 

1 Manns iUins tomatiles. — Cant, y, 14. 

' Siciit an tomandi promptior est aliis artibns, ric Maria ad benefiuaandma 
promptior cat onuubna Sanctis. — De Laud. Virg. lib. v, cap. 3. 

a (Annea consolatur . . . et vel tenniter invocata pnesto adeat. — Can. Vit. Spirit, 
am. 18. 

* Ta Sains te invocantiam. — Ifym. de B. V. ad iiut. Te Deum. 

* Inveniea semper paratam auiuliari.t 

* Flna . . . desioerat ipsa facerc tibi bonum . . . quam tu accipere concupiscas. 
— Mar. p. ii. Semi. 6 de Nat. B. V. 

7 If m enim Mater hsc dedignatur peccatores, sicut nee bona Mater filium 
acabioram, quia propter peccatores factam se recolit misericordis Renitricem. 
Ubi enim non eat miseria, niisericordia non habet locum. — De Laud. Vxrg. lib. ir. 


was told that 'Angels constantly guard the clients of this 
Blessed Virgin, from the assaults of hell.' ^ 

This good Mother's compassion is so great, and the love 
she bears ns is such, that she does not even wait for our 
prayers in order to assist us ; but, as it is expressed in the 
Book of Wisdom, " she|preventeth them that covet her, 
so that she first sheweth herself unto them."^ Saint 
Anselm applies these words to Mary, and says that she is 
beforehand with those who desire her protection. By this 
we are to understand, that she obtains us many favours 
from God before we have recourse to her. Eor this reason 
Kichard of Saint Victor remarks, that she is called the 
moon, " Pair as the moon," meaning, hot only that she is 
swift as the moon in its course, by flying to the aid of 
those who invoke her, but that she is still more so, for her 
love for us is so tender, that in our wants she anticipates 
our prayers, and her mercy is more prompt to help us than 
we are to ask her aid.* * And this arises,' adds the same 
Kichard, 'from the fact, that the heart of Mary is so filled 
with compassion for po9r sinners ths^t she no sooner sees 
our miseries than she pours her tender mercies upon us. 
Neither is it possible for this benign Queen to behold the 
want of any soul without immediately assisting it.' * 

Mary, even when living in this world showed, at the 
marriage feast of Cana, the great compassion that she 
would afterwards exercise towards us in our necessities, 
and which now, as it were, forces her to have pity on and 
assist us, even beforft we ask her to do so. In the second 
chapter of Saint Luke, we read, that at this feast the com- 
passionate Mother saw the embarrassment in which the 
bride and bridegroom were, and that they were quite 
ashamed on seeing the wine fail ; and therefore, without 
being asked, and listening only to the dictates of her com- 

1 Jtev. Lib. iv, ca^. 49. 

8 Praeoccupat, qui se concupiscunt, ut illis se prior ostendat. — Sap. vi, 14. 

8 Vedocitis occurrit ejus pietas, quam invocetur, et cauias miserorum anticipat. 
In Cant. cap. xxiii, 3. 

* Adeo pietate replentur ubera tua, ut alicigas miseriee notitia tacta^Iac fon- 
dant misericordisB : nee possia misenas scire, et non sabvemxe,'— In Cuat, 
oap. xxiii. 


passionate heart, which could never behold the afflictions 
of others withont feeling for them, she begged her son to 
console them, simply by laying their distress before Him : 
" They have no wine." No sooner had she done so, than 
our Lord, in order to satisfy all present, and still more to 
eonsole the oompassionateheart of His Motherwhohad asked 
the £iToar, worked the well-known miracle, by which He 
changed the water, brought to him in jars, into wine. 
From this Noyarino argues, that ' If Maiy, unasked, is thus 
prompt to succour the needy, how much more so will she 
be to succour those who invoke her and ask for her 

Should there be any one who doubts as to whether Mary 
win aid him if he hsa recourse to her, Innocent m thus 
reproves him: 'Who is there that ever, when in the night 
of sin, had recourse to this sweet Lady without being 
relieved.'* 'And who ever,' exclaims the blessed Eutichian, 
' faithfully implored thy all-powerful aid and was abandoned 
by thee?'' Indeed no one; for thou canst relieve the 
most wretched, and save the most abandoned. Such a 
case certainly never did, and never will occur. 'I am 
satisfied,' says Saint Bernard, ' that whoever has had re- 
course to thee, O Blessed Virgin, in his wants, and can 
remember that he did so in vain, should no more speak of 
or praise thy mercy.' * 

' Sooner,' says the devout Blosius, ' would heaven and 

earth be destroyed, than would Maiy fail to assist any 

one who asks for her help, provided he does so with a good 

' intention, and with confidence in her.' ^ Saint Anselm, to 

increase our confidence, adds, that ' when we have recourse 

1 Si tam prompta et cite ad anTJlinm feiendiua cuzit non qmenta, qind 
reouisita pneatitara est f~~Exe. Ixxii. 

' Qms . . . de nocte inrocaTit cam, et non est ezanditos ab ea.— iSSfrm. ii, ie 
Aunmp. B, V. 

' Qms . . . Domina mea, Immacnlata l^rgo, speraTit in te et cooftuvs est? ant 
oms horainnm precatus est omnipotentiam a4iutorii tni, et derelictna eat. 
BaUmul Men*. Feb. torn, i, in nta S. Tkeoph. 

* Sileat misericordiam taam, Virgo Beato, si quis est qui inrocatam te in 
necessitatibiis snis libi raeminerit duuisse. — Serw. iv, inAuuv^. B. V. 

* Citina codum ram terra perierint, qnam tu, aliqncm serio te unplorantem, toa 
ope destituas. — Consol. Punl. cap. xxxv. 


to ibis DiTine Mother, not onfy we may be sine of ber 
protectioii, but ibat often we shall be heard more quickly, 
and be thus preserved, if we have resource to Mary an 
call on her holy name, ihaa. we should be if we called o 
the name of Jesus our Saviour ;' and the reason he gives 
for it is, * that to Jesus as a Judge, it bdongs also to 
punish, but men^ alone belongs to the Blessed Vij^in as 
a patroness.' Meaning, that we more easily find salvation 
by having recourse to the Mother, than by going to the 
Son — ^not as if Maiy was more powerful than her Son to 
save us, for we know that Jesus Christ is our only Saviour, 
and that He alone, by His merits, has obtained, and obtains 
salvation for us; but it is for this reason: that when we 
have recourse to Jesus, we consider Him at the same time 
as our Judge, to whom it belongs also to chastise ungrate- 
ful souls, and therefore the confidence neoessaiy to be 
heard may fail us ; but when we go to Mary, who has no 
other office than to compassionate us, as Mother of Mercy, 
and to defend us as our advocate, our confidence is more 
easily established, and is often greater. 'We often obtain 
more promptly what we ask by calling on the name of 
Mary, than by invoking that of Jesus. Her Son is Lord 
and Judge of all, and discerns the merits of each one ; 
and therefore, if He does not immediately grant the 
prayers of all, He is just. When, however, the Mother's 
name is invoked, though the maits of the suppliant are 
not such as to deserve that his prayer should be granted, 
those of the Mother supply that he may receive.' ^ 

* Many things,' says Nicq)horus, ' are asked from God, 
and are not granted: they are asked from Mary, and are 
obtained.' And how is this? It is 'because God has 
thus decreed to honour His Mother.'* 

^ Yelocior est nonnanaaain sahu meraorato nomine Marise, quam ^ jiyocato 
nonune Domini Jesn. . . . Filios fgns Dominns est et judex onmnun diseeraens 
merita singolorttm, dnm igitur ipse a qnoyis suo nomine inrocatus, non stati m 
exaudit, j>rofecto id juste facit. Invocato autem nomine matris, etsi merita 
invocantis non merentur, ut exaudiatur : merita tamen matris intercedunt ut 
exaudiatur.— <$. Jns. de J^xc. V. c. 6. 

3 Multa petentur a Deo, et non obtinentur: multa petentur a Maria, et 
obtinentnr; non quia potentior, sed quia Deua earn decrevit sic honorare. — 
Niceph. Jf. P. P^, Grandez, &c. f 

TO THSS DO mt CKT) ETC« 107 

Saint Bridget heard oor Lord make a most sweet and 
consoling promise ; for in tlie 50tli chapter of the First Book 
of her Be?elatiGns, we read, that Jesus addressed His 
Mother in the following words : ' Thou shalt present me 
with no petition that shall be refused. My Mother, ask 
what thon wilt, for never will I refuse thee anything; and 
know,' he added, ' that I promise graciously to hear all 
those who ask any fswoxa of me in thy name, though they 
may be sinners, if only they have the will to amend their 
lives/^ The same thmg was revealed to Saint Gertrude, 
when she heard our Divine Bedeemer assure His Mother: 
' That in His omnipotence He granted her power to show 
mercy to sinners who invoke her in whatever manner she 
might please.'^ 

Let all, then, say, with full confidence in the words of 
that beautiful prayer addressed to the Mother of Mercy, 
and commonly attributed to St. Bernard : ' Bemember, 
O most pious Yiigin Mary, that it never was heard 
of in any age that any one having recourse to thy pro- 
tection, was abandoned.'^ Therefore forgive me, O 
Mary, if I say that I will not be the first unfortunate 
creature who has ever had recourse to thee, and was 


We read in his Life, that Saint Francis of Sales expe- 
rienced the efficacy of this prayer. TVhen he was about 
seventeen years of age he was residing in Paris, where he 
was pursuing his studies. At the same time he devoted 
Vimself to exercises of piety and to the holy love of God, 
in which he found the joys of paradise. Our Lord, in 
order to try him and to strengthen the bands which united 
him to Himself, aflowed the evil spirit to persuade him 

^ Nulla eritpetitio tua ad me,qiue non exaudiator. Et per te omnes, qui petunt 
lidsericordiam, cum roloniate emendandi, gratiam habebunt. — Set. lib. i, cap. 60. 

* £x onmipotentia mea. Mater, tibi oonceaai potestatfin propitiandi peccatis 
omnium qui devote invocant tue pietatis auxilium, qnalicumque modo placet 
iJibL'^Sev. lib. ir, ca^. 63. 

s Memorare, O puaima Virgo Maria, non esse auditum a sseculo qnemquam 
td tua curreaiempisaidia, toa implorantein au^lia, tua petentem iuf(ragia, esse 


> ithat ' HA >ke idid< was in' vain,' as' ' he wks lakdad^n IcolLdemned 
^'hi the^'et^r&id. decrees of Ghpdi. "The datk]iie9»Biidkpi]dtbal 
<iliiyiie8s: in wkidhGodnvias pleeUed*' ait /the ksiak^ tim^fto 
ieatre him (fori he was theti itisensibl&itD -all-itfak swi^cJier 
thoB^rts of the g6odiiess: of Ood)^ eauf^dtheiemptatiiili 
to Jiare greater power ov^r the heart' of ■ €he ihofy i3^otitli' ; 
And, indeed^ it^readhed ^ch a pitdh that has. fe&iii»(aad 
interior desolailioA took away hiS' appetite^ depotited ^liiiki 
of sleep, made him pale aikdmeIanchoJy;:sD'niiiisk8o^!4fafit 
he exdted the compassion of all who saw him/ • ' ' h>' i • 
As long as this terrible storm lasted, the Saint could 
only conceiTte thoughts and utter words of despondeney aikd 
bitter grief. * Then/ said he, ' I' am to be deprived >dfitiie 
grace of my God, who hitherto has shown Himself so 
lovely and sweet to me ? O Love, O Beauty, to which I 
have consecrated all my affections, I am no longer to enjoy 
thy consolation! O Virgin, Mother of God, the fairest 
amongst all the daughters of Jerusalem, then I ain never 
to see thee in heaven ! Ah ! Lady, if I am not to behoM 
thy beautiful countenance in paradise, at least permit me 
not to blaspheme thee in hell I' Such were the tender 
sentiments of that afflicted, but, at the same time; looHng 
heart. The temptation had lasted a month, when 'it 
pleased our Lord to deliver him by the means of that cpm- 
fortress of the world, the most Blessed Mary, to whom the 
Saint had some time before consecrated his virginity, and 
in whom, as he declared, he had placed all his hopes. One 
evening, on returning home, he entered a church, and saw 
a tablet hanging to the wall : he read it, and found the 
following well-known prayer, commonly called * of Saint 
Bernard,* — * Remember, O most pious Yu'gin Mary, that it 
never has been heard of in any age, that any one having 
recourse to thy protection was abandoned.* Falling* on 
his knees before the altar of the Divine Mother, he 
recitfed this prayer with tender fervour, renewed' his Vow 
'<!)f dhastity, promised to say the Bosaty evetjr day; aiid thi^ 
,ddded:^ ^My Queen, be my advocate with thy Son','i^6iii 
' T dar^ not approach. My Mother, if I am so unfortttifl^fe 


as not to be able to love my Lord in the next world, and 
whom I know to be so worthy of love, at least do thou 
obtain that I may love Him in this world as much as pos- 
sible. This is the grace that I ask and hope for from 
thee/ Having thus addressed the Blessed Virgin, he 
cast himself into the arms of Divine mercy, and resigned 
himself entirely to the will of God. Scarcely had he 
finished his prayer, when, in an instant, he was delivered 
from his temptation by his most sweet Mother ; he imme- 
diately regained the peace of his soul, and with it his 
bodily health; and from that time forward lived most 
devout to Mary, whose praises and mercy he constantly 
extolled, both in his sermons and writings, during the re- 
mainder of his life. 


O Mother of God, Queen of Angels, and Hope of men, 
give ear to one who calls upon thee, and has recourse to 
thy protection. Behold me this day prostrate at thy feet; 
I, a miserable slave of hell, devote myself entii'ely to thee : 
I desire to be for ever thy servant. I offer myself to serve 
and honour thee to the utmost of my power during the 
whole of my life. I know that the service of one so 
vile and miserable can be no honour to thee, since I have 
80 grievously offended Jesus, thy Son and my Redeemer. 
But if thou wilt accept one so unworthy for thy servant, 
and by thy intercession change me, and thus making me 
worthy, this very mercy will give thee that honour which 
so miserable a wretch as I can never give thee. Receive 
me, then, and reject me not, O my Mother. The Eternal 
Word came from heaven on earth to seek for lost sheep ; 
and to save them He became thy Son. And when one of 
them goes to thee to find Jesus, wilt thou despise it ? The 
price of my salvation is already paid; my Saviour has 
already shed His blood, which suffices to save an infinity 
of worlds. This blood has only to be applied, even to 
such a one as I am. And that is thy office, O Blessed 



Yiigm; to thee does it beiong, as I am fold by Siiiiit 
Bemazd, to dbpense the merits of tlds blood to wkom 
thoa |deasest. To thee does it bdoog, says Saint 
BaDaventare, to saye whomsoever tlioa wiflest, ^whom- 
soerer thon wiliest wiU be saved.'^ O, then, help me, 
mj Qnem : my Qqeen, sdre me. To thee do I tiiis day 
consecrate my whole Sool ; do thon save it. O Salration 
of those who invoke thee, I condnde in the words of the 
same Saint, *0 Salratmn of those who call npon thee, do 
thon save me.' 

Section JL—Of the ffreainm of ilte piHter of 3£arg ta 
dtfend those who invoke her when tempted by the devil. 

Not only is the most Blessed Virgin Queen of heaven 
and of all Saints, bnt she is also Queen of hell and of all evil 
spirits ; for she overcame them valiantly by her \-irtnes. 
From the very beginning God foretold the victory and 
empire that onr Queen would one day obtain over the ser- 
pent, when He announced that a woman should come into 
the world to conquer him : — " I will put enmities between 
thee and the woman — she shall crush thy head." ^ Apr] 
who could this woman, his enemy, be but Mary, who by 
her fair humility and holy life always oonqueied hiru and 
beat down his strengtb? The Mother of onr Lord Jesjis 
Christ was promised in the person of that woman, as it is 
remarked by an ancient writer, and therefore God did not 
say, *I place,' but ' I will place;' lest He might seem to refer 
to Eve : meaning that God said, " I will place enmiti^. 
between thee and the woman," to signify that the serpent's 
opponent was not to be Eve, who was then living, but 
would be another womaii descending from her, and who^ 
as Saint Vincent iPerrer observes, * would brii^ our first 
parents far greater advantages than those which they had 

I ?*^^!^' ^^ **^^ cnt-^Cant. S. M. F. intt. il&us Bahacue: 
^«» mif P<n»w* »nt«r t© et muHeran ... ipsa coitent eaput tuna.-* 

TO TH££ BO Wfi OBT, BTG. Ill 

lost by thejr sin/ ^ Maiy, then, was this gzeat a&d vaiiaat 
^oxfi^n, who conqueied the de?il and crushed his head, fa j 
bringing down his pride, as it was f oretoM by God himself : 
'^ She shall crush thy head." Some doubt as to whether 
tb^se words refer to Mary, or whether they do uot rather 
refer to Jesus Christ ; for the Septuagint reiid«» them : 
'' He shall crush thy head." But ia tlie Vulgate, whieh 
alone was approved of by the saored Council of Trent, 
we find " Sh£," and not " Hs ;" and thus it was under- 
stood by Saint Ambrose, Saint Jerome, Saint Augustiii, 
and a great many others. However, be it as it may, it is 
certain that either the Son by means of tbie Mother, or 
the Mother by means of the Son, has overcome Lucifer ; so 
thati as Saint Bernard remarks, this proud spirit, in 
spite of himself, was beaten down and trampled under 
foot^ by this most Blessed Virgin; so that, as a slave 
conquered in war, he is forced always to obey the comr 
mands of this Queen. ' Beaten down and trampled under 
the feet of Mary, he endures a wretched slavery.' ^ 

Saint Bruno says, * that Eve was the cause of death,' 
h^ allowing herself to be overcome by the serpent ; ' but 
that Mary,' by conquering the devil, 'restored life to us.'^ 
And she bound him in such a way that this enemy cannot 
stir so as to do the least injmy to any of her clients. 

Beautiful is the explanation given by Eichard of Saint 
Lawrence of the following words of the Book of Proverbs : 
'* The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall 
have no need of spoils." ^ He says, appl3^g them to 
Jesus and Mary : 'The heart of her Spouse, that is Christ, 
trusteth in her, and He shall have no need of spoils ; for 
she endows Him with all those whom, by her prayers, 

1 ]>iuiiiu]tein Adam et Eva essent in iUa tristitia, DeuB rerelavit ds, quod ab 
ei« |(rocederet Virgo sanctiMiina, amt afferret migiu bonum, quam ipsi perdi- 
diisKnt.— iSNfrm. in Fett. Coneep. B.V. 

* Sub Mariee pedibiu conadcatiu et contrituSj miseram patitnr servitutem.-^ 
h IKm. Uagn. 

9 Huec linea incipit ab Eva, et desmit in Mariam. In principio mors : et in 
fine vita consistit: mors per Evam focta est, vita per Mariani reddita est! IUa a 
diabolo victa est, hsec diaooliuu ligavit et vielt. — D« FeitU Maria, Serm. n. 

* Confidit in ea cor viri sui, et spoliia non indigebit. — Prov. xxxi, 11. 

112 TO THEE DO WE City, ETC. 

merits, and example, ake snatches from the deyiL' ^ Grod 
has intrusted the heart of Jesus to the hands of Mary, 
that she may insure it the love of men,' says Cornelius a 
Lapide ; and thus He will not need spoils; that is, He will 
be abundantly supplied with souls : for she enriches Him 
with those whom she has snatched from hell, and saved 
from the devil by her powerful assistance. 

It is well known that the palm is a sign of victory; and 
therefore our Queen is placed on a high throne, in sight of 
all the powers, as a pa£n, for a sign of the certain victory 
that all may promise themselves who place themselves 
under her protection : " I was exalted like a palm-tree in 
Cades," says the Ecclesiasticus :^ * that is, to defend,* adds 
blessed Albert the Great. ' My children,' Mary seems to 
say, * when the enemy assails you, fly to me ; cast your 
eyes on me, and be of good heart; for as I am your 
defender, victory is assured to you.' So that recourse to 
Mary is a most secure means to conquer all the assaults 
of hell; For she, says Saint Bemardine of Sienna, is 
even the Queen of hell, and Sovereign Mistress of the 
devils ; since she it is who tames and crushes them. He 
thus expresses his thought : * The most Blessed Virgin 
rules over the infernal regions. She is therefore called 
the ruling Mistress of the devils, because she brings them 
into subjection,'^ Eor this reason Mary is said in the 
.sacred Canticles, to be "terrible" to the infernal powers 
" as an army in battle array;" * and she is called thus 
terrible, because she well knows how to array her power, 
her mercy, and her prayers, to the discomfiture of her 
enemies, and for the benefit of her servants, who in their 
temptations have recourse to her most powerful aid. 

"As the vine, I have brought forth a pleasant odour." ^ 

^ Confidit in ea cor viri sui, et spoliis non indigebit. Quia qoMeiuHnie ftuis 

' Bcata Virgo doniinatur in r^gno infemi. . . . Bomina didtnr quasi domans 
manus, quia ipsa domat dicmonum luanus ct potestates.*— <$?«rM. iii, ds Qlor. 
N<m. M. 

* Terribilia ut castrorum acies ordinata. — Catit. vi, 3. 

5 Ego quasi vitis fructificavi suavitatem odoris.— i?frf. xxiv, 23. 

^ Confidit in ea cor viri sui, et spoliis non indigebit. Quia quMennque ftuis 
oratiouibus, mentis et exemplis, liberat a diabolo, apponit et asaignat dominio 
sponsi vaa^—De Land Virg. lib. vi, cap. fi. 

' Quasi palnia exnltata sum in Cades. — EccL xxiv, 18. 



*Iiiii3. ioes the Holy Gkost make Mary speak in the bod/k 
ctf Ecclesteticus. ' We are told,' says Saint Bernard, on 
[this passage, that * all Vf nomons reptiles fly from flowering 
vines : * * for, as poisonons reptiles ny from flowering vines, 
io 'do devils fly from those fortunate souls, in whom they 
perceive the perfume of devotion to Mary. And, therefore, 
she also calls herself, in the same book, a cedar : " I was 
exalted like a cedar in Libanus/'^ Not only because 
Mary was untainted by sin, as the cedar is incorruptible, 
but abo, as Cardinal Hugo remarks on the above text, 
because, * like the cedar, which, by its ddour, keeps off 
#orms, so also does Mary, by her sanctity, drive away 
the devils.' ' 

In Judea, victories were gained by means of the ark. 
Thus it was that Moses conquered his enemies, as we leain 
from the book of Numbers. "And when the ark was 
lifted up, Moses said : Arise, Lord, and let thy enemies 
be scattered."* Thus was Jericho conquered; thus abo 
the Philistines ; "for the Ark of God was there." ^ It is 
well known that this ark was a figure of Mary. ComeKus 
a Lapide says, ' In time of danger. Christians should fly to 
the most Blessed Virgin, who contained Christ as manna, 
in the ark of her womb, and brought him forth, to be the 
fbod and salvation of the world.' <* For, as manna 
Was in the ark, so is Jesus (of whom manna was a figure) 
in Mary ; and, by means of this ark, we gain the Victbry 
over our earthly and infernal enemies. * And thus,* Siint 
Bemardine of Sienna well observes, ' that when Mary, the 
ark of the New Testament, was raised to the figmty of 

1 Aiuit de floNgeentibai viaeiB ankne repiUe venenatnin oeden kMo.-- ^Stti*. 
]x, in Cmt, 
< Qmui eednia exaliata warn in libMO.— Jfetfl. xxiv, 17. 
4 Oedrnsodore sod figat lecpeiites^et Betta Virgo djBmoiiM.4-^« Uk. Mech 

* Cumque elevaretur area, dicebat Moyses: Surge Bowine, et diMipentar 
iaimici tmr—Ifitm. x, S5. 
• ^ £fB^cnim iM ttca Dei.-^1 Rsff. xiv, 18. 

4.111 ])e{iculi» Chriftisiii foigiaiit ... ad B. Virgtnen « qme Clunstiim ovwii 
manna, in area ventris mi conttnnit et peperit pro cibo et mhite nranira.*- 
Comment, in lib. 1 Bfff. cap. xiv, 18. 

10 5 


Qtieea 4»f heaven, tke power of hell over men tms ^eakehed 
aad- dissolved.'^ 

Oh, how the infernal spirits tr»]^ble at the very thought 
of Mary, and of her august name, sap Saint Bonaventuve« 
' Oh, how fearful is Mary to the devils.' * Hie Saint 
ccHupares these enemies to those of whom Job ^eaks. 
** He diggeUi throng houses in the dark — ^if the mornings 
suddenly appear, it is to them the shadow of death."* 
Thieves go and rob houses in the dark ; but, as soon as 
moming dawns, they fly, as if they beheld the shadow of 
death. 'Freoisely thus,' in the words of the same Saint, 'do 
the devils enter a soul in the time of darkness ;' meaning, 
when the soul is in the obscurity of ignorance. They d% 
through the house of our mind, when it is in the darkness 
of ignorance. But then he adds, ' If suddenly they are 
overtaken by the dawn, that is, if the grace and mercy of 
Mary enters the soul, its brightness instantly dispels the 
darkness, and puts the infernal enemies to flight, as if they 
fled from death.'* O blessed is he who always invokes^ 
the beautifiil name of Maiy in his conflicts with helL 

In conflnnation of this, it was revealed to Saint Bridget, 
* tiiat God had rendered Mary so powerful over the devils, 
that as often as they assault a devout client who calls on 
this most Blessed Virgin for help, she, at a single glance, 
instantly terrifies them, so that they fly far away, prcferringj 
to have their pains redoubled rather than see themselves 
thu« subject to the power of Mary.*^ 

* > Qttando elevata fuit Virgo gloriosa ad ceelestia regna, dsemonis poientia 
ifioiinttta est et (Ussipata.—^emt. in Mssnip. JB. Y. M. 

* ^uam amara et tremenda est heec Maria demonibus I — ^ec. JB. V. M. 
Lfiet. iii. 

..'JPerfodit in tenfibtis domos. ..^ Si subito appamearit avoin, arbitnutiir 
uniTrram mortis. — Job. xxiv, 16, 17. 

* Perfodinnt namqne in tenebris if^orautis, in tenebria obecnritatisintmoxes 
domoe mentium nostrarom. ... Si enim subito appamerit aurora, si cito nobis 
advenerit et supervenerit Mariee gratia, et inisencordia ... sic faginnt, neat 
h^nes fiment et fagiunt tunbram mortis. — Spec. B. V. M. Lect. xi. 

6 Super omnes ctiam lualignos spiritus ipsam sic Deus potentem effecit, qttod 
miotieseum^ae ipaialiqueiu hominem Virnnia anxilitan ex chaiitate imploranfem 
il^ti^avennt, ad ipsius Virginis nnttun ulico pavidi precnl diffugitmt; rolentes 
potitis pienas saas et tttiseriaa sibi niultipUcari, quam ejusdem Virginia poteutiam 
super ae taliter dominari. — Serm. Ang. cap. xx. ^ 

ler THEB DO WB CRT, ETC* 113 

The IKyine Bridegroom, whmi speaking of tkis His 
beloved bride, calls her a lily : " As the lily is amongst 
1^ thorns, so is my beLoved amongst the daughters."^ 
On these words Ckxnidius a Lapide makes the reflection, 
^ that as the lily is a remedy against s«:pents and venomous 
thingsi, so is the inyocation of Mary a specific by wfaioh we 
may overcome all temptations, and especially diose against 
purity, as all find who put it in piaotice.' ^ 

Sfunt Cosmas of Jeroaalem used to say, ' While I keep 
mtj hope in thee unconquerable, O Mother of God, I shaU 
be safe. I will fight and overcome my enemies with no 
other buckler than thy protection and thy all-poweifdl 
aid.' ^ And all who are so fortunate as to be the servants 
of this great Queen can say the same thing. O Mother 
of God, if I hope in thee, I most certainly shall not be 
overcome; for, defended by thee, I will follow up my 
enemies, and oppose them with the shield of thy protection 
and thy all-powerful help ; and then without doubt I shall 
eonquer. For, says James the monk (who was a doctor 
amongst the Gireeks), addressing our Lord on the subject 
of Mary, * Thou, O Lord, hast given us, in Mary, aims 
that no force of war can overcome, and a tn>{^y never to 
be destroyed.' * 

It is said in the Old Testament, that God guided his 
people from Egypt to the land of promise, " By day, in a 
pillar of a cloud, and by night, in a piUar of fire."^ This 
stupendous pillar, at times as a cloud, at others as fire, 
says Bichard of Saint Lawrence, was a figure of Mary 
fulfilling the double office she constantly exercises for our 
good ; as a doud she protects us from the ardour of Divine 
Justice; and, as fire, she protects us from the devils. 
^ Behold the twofold object for which Mary is given to us ; 

I Sicut liUnm inter spinas, sic arnica mea inter filias.— Com/, ii, 2. 

* Sicnt lifinrn yalet adversus serpentes et renena: sic B. Ti^nia invocatio sin< 
jgiUaie est remedinm in omni tentatione vitiorum, et pneaertim libidinis, uti 
■lanieEientia constat.— Contm«»/. m CauL 
, > Invituperabikni Deipara spem tuam Iiabcns, sen-abor. . . Perscqoar inimicM 
peos et AiKam yortfon, aobuu nabens nt thoracem protectionein tuam, et omnl- 
potens aaxmnm tuum. — Hymn vi, t» Dtj^r. ad J)eip. 

• * Ta arma vi omni belli potentiora, trophacumque invictum earn pnestitlsti. — 
In N»t. S. Maria. 
■ ' Per diem ip cohmina nubis, pt per noctsin i^ columna ignis.— ^<d. xUi, 21 , 


to sMfer ns, as a dond, trom Hie lieat of tlie sun of 
justice ; and, as ^e, to protect us all t^ainst the devil.' } 
She protects ns as a burning fire : for. Saint Bonarentniie 
remarks : ' As wax melts before the fire, so do the devils 
lose their power against those souls who often remember 
the name of Mary, and devoutly iiivoke it ; and still more 
so, if they also endeavour to imitate her virtues.' ' 

The devils tremble even if they only hear the name of 
l&iy . Saint Bernard dedares that ^ in the name of Mary 
every knee bows ; and that the devils not oidy fear htk 
tremble at the y^ sound of tlmt name.' ^ And as med 
fall prostrate with fear if a thunderbolt falls near th^n, so 
do the devik if they hear the name of Mary. Thomas al 
Kempis thus expresses the same sentiment: *The evil 
ipirits greatly fear the Queen of Heaven, and fiy at the 
sound of her name, as if from fire. At the veiy sound of 
the word Mary, they are prostrated as by thunder.'* 
And oh how many victories have the clients of Mary gained 
by only making use of her most holy name ! It was 
thus tihiat Saint Anthony of Padua was always victorious ; 
thus the blessed H^iry Suso ; thus so many other lovers 
of this great Queen conquered. We learn, from the history 
of the missions in Japan, that many devils appeared under 
the form of fierce animals, to a certain Christian, to alarm 
and threaten him ; but he thus addressed them : ' I have no 
lurms that you can fear ; and if tiie Most High permits it, do 
whatever you please with me. In the mean time, however, I 
take the holy names of Jesus and Mary for my defence.' 
At the very sound of these tremendous names, the earth 
Opened, and the proud spirits cast themsebres headlong 
into k. 


1 Ecce duo officia, ad quse data est nobis Maria : scilicet, ut nos protejeat a 
fterv'ore solis jnstitis, tamquam mAea . . . et tamquam ignis . . . not prmegat 
conitra djabolttm.— Lib. viii de Laud. Fliy. cap. 18. 

* Perennt sicnt ceraa facie ignis, nbicomque inyeanint crArambitiiiitnoiniixUi 
recordationem, derotam invoeationem, somcitai& imittiiauem.-^Sj^ee. S. M. F, 
Led. xi. 

* In nomine- MaiiflB ottme geirafiectitTir ; etdsBmones nobflohtm peH»)i«seiint, 
sed, audita hac voce, contremiscnnt, — Serm. 8Uf. Miss, t 

* Expavescunt coeli Eeginam spiritus maligni, et diffagiunt, audito B<»iine 
sancto ejus, velnt ab igne. Tanquam tonitruum de ccelo factum, sicprosternqntur 
ad SanctfC Harise Tocabulum.— jSrint. iv, ad Nov. 


Saint AnyJm declaies ilut he himself ' knew, and had 
seen and heard many who had invoked the name of 
l^Iaryin time of danger, and were immediately delivered 
from it.' ^ 

' Glorious indeed) and admirable/ exclaims Saint Bona- 
venture, ' is thy name, O Mary ; for those who pronounce 
it at death, need not fear all the powers of hell ;'- for the 
devils on hearing that name instantly fly, and leave the 
soul in peace. The same Saint adds, 'That men do 
not fear a powerful hostile army as much as the powers of 
hell fear the name and protection of Mary.' ^ * Thou, O 
I^y»' ^ys Saint Germanus, ' by the simple invocation of 
thy most powerful name, givest security to thy servants 
against all the assaults of the enemy.' ^ Oh, were Christians 
bat careful in their temptations to pronoimce the name of 
Mary with confidence, never would they fall ; for, as blessed 
Allan remarks, *At the very sound of these words, Hail, 
Mary, Satan flies, and heU trembles.' ^ Our Blessed Lady 
herself revealed to Saint Bridget that the enemy flies even 
from the most abandoned sinners, and who consequently 
are the furthest from God, and fully possessed by the 
devil, if they only invoke her most powerful name, with a 
true purpose of amendment. ' All devils, on hearing this 
name of Mary, filled with terror, leave the soid.' ^ But at 
the same time our Blessed Lady added, ' that if the soul 
does not amend and obliterate its sins by sorrow, the devils 
almost immediately return and continue to possess it.'^ 

^ Sspe qnippe Tidimns et andinmus ]^liirunos hominvm in suu pericolis 
reeordari horum; et onuus pericoli mahun illico evasisse. — De Etc, Virg. c. vi. 

' Gloriosam et admiraibile est nomen tattm : qui illud rettnent, n<m expavescent 
fai pnncto mortis. — In P$. ex. 

* !Noii sic timent hostes visibiles quasi castromm maltitadinem copiosatt, 
sicnt aereae potestates Maxiae vocabohim, patrociniom et esemplnni. — Spec. 
Ji. M. V. lect. iii. 

^ Ta nequissimi hostis contra servos tnos invasiones, sola tui nominis invoca- 
Hone sanctissima repellena, tutos at^ne inoohunes servas. — Serm. de Zona Vvrg. 

^ Satan fogit, infemua ctHitremiscit, com dico, Ave Mnria.t 

<s Oiunes d8Bmones,aadito nomine, nieOjStatlm^relinquunt animam quasi territL 
.^jfb. i "Ret. c. 9. 

7 Sell revertniitur ad esun , . , nisi aliqna cmendatio sabse^iiaUtr.->v(i, 



In Katisbou, there was a Canon Begula? of the name of 
Arnold, sumamed the Pious, on account of the sanctity 
of his life, and who had the most tender devotion to 
our Blessed Ladv. When at the point of deatli, and 
having received the last sacraments, he summpned his 
religious brethre^, and begged that they "\VQul4 ^^t> abandjppi 
him in his last passage. Scarcely had he uttered thesje 
words when, in the presence of all, he began to tromblp, 
to roU his eyes, and, bathed in a cold sweat, wit]i a faltering 
voice said, *Ah, do you npt see the devils who are ei^- 
deavouring to drag me to hell?' He then cried qui, 
* Brothers, implore tjie aid of Mary for me 5 in her I cpn- 
fide, she will give me the ^ictory.' On hearing this, his 
brethren recited the Litany of our Blesse4 Lfidy, and ^ 
they said, * Holy Marj', pray fpr him,' the dying man ex- 
claimed, *Bepeat, ^.-epeat, the name of Mary, for I ^m 
already before God's tribunal.' H^ was silpnt for a 
qioment, and then added, ' It is true that I did it, but I 
have dojie penance for it.' And then turning to our Blessed 
Lady, he said, *0 Mary, I shall be delivered if thou helpe^t 
me.* Again the devils attacked him; but be defended 
hiipself with his crucifix and the name of Mary. Thus 
was the night spent ; but no sooner did morning dawn 
than Arnold exclaimed vnih. the greatest caln^nps^, and 
full of holy joy, *Mary, my sovereign Lady, i^y refuge, 
has obtained me pardon and salvation.' Then casting 
his eyes on that Blessed Virgin who was inviting him to 
follow her, he said, * I come, O Lady, I come ;' and making 
an effort to do so even with his body, his soul fled after 
her to the realms of etenial bliss, as we trust, for he sweetly 


Behold at thy feet, O Mary, my hope, a poor sinney, who 
has so many times been, by his own fault, the slave of hell. 

^ p. Juriemmaf Aff. Scamb. p. ii, cap. 8. 

TO TH» SO Vt GET, ETC. 119 

I know that by neglecting to have recourse to tliee, my 
Feiiige, I allowed myself to be overcome by the de^il. 
Had I always had recourse to thee, bad I always invoked 
thee, I certainly should not have fallen. I trust, O Lady, 
most worthy of all our love, that through thee I have 
already escaped from the hands of the devil, and that God 
has pardoned me. But I tremble lest at some future 
period I may again fall into the same bonds. I know that 
my enemies have not lost the hope of again overcoming 
me, and already they pt^pare new assaults and temptations 
for me. Ah, my Queen and refuge, do thou assist me. 
Place me under thy mantle ; perrait me not again to becqme 
thetf slave. I know that thou wilt help me and gii-e me 
the vidtory, provided I invoke thee ; but I dread lest in my 
temptations I m4y forget thee, and neglect to do so. The 
fiiVotir, then, that I seek of thee, and which thou must 
grant me, O most holy Virgin, is that I may neVer foi^et 
thee, and especlaUy in time of temptation : gront that I 
may then tq)eatecdy invoke thee, saying : ' Ma^, help 
me ; O Mary, help me.* And when my last simple with 
hell comes, at the motuent of death, ah then, my Queen, 
help me more than tvtr, and thoU thj-self remind me to 
coll tm thee raoPe ftwjuently either with my lips or in my 
heart; that, being thus filled with confidence, I may expire 
with thy sweet name, and that of thy Son Jesus, on my 
li^ ; that so I may be able to bless thee and praise thee, 
and not depart from thy feet in paradise for ril eternity. 

i-'" ' /U» -i >. ' .1 ,/• M'j i.-ii J ^.^ 

' ••'"'•" '"' ■ '^ ■'•iii : 'i t •;, ,i,.» 1 1,.; II i; ,.ci V\'\ 'fOl'-^'Kl 

'' ' ' • ' ' ■ ' >'" I ' i! '•"■..>.' I • ^ i;. ' -^fit 

IN THJS YjIlLLET OP ITB.AA&. ^ .= r< n[j 

- • ■; * i' /.l • >■) gi 

Stsction I. — Qf fit«? Necemity ofihe MterdemtM of Maty 

Jbr oUr Salvatum. » i? H 

SSlHAT it is not only lawful but useful to iiniroke«i»a4:FW 
VJK to the SaiotB, and more especially tothe.Qii|i^efa,(f|f 
Saints, the most Wy and ever Blessed Yii'gin, Maryk ti^ 
ord^ that they may obtain ils the Divine gssm, h sift airl^e 
of faith, and has been defined by general Couneils,, ag<|jp|^t 
hereticswho condemned it as injurious to Jesus Christy who4^ 
our only mediator; but if a Jeremias, after his deaths pva^/^ 
for Jerusalem ; ^ if the ancients of the Apooalypse pre^f |ited 
the prayers of the Saints to God ; if a Saint Peter pcomi^s 
his discipks that after his death be will be miiadM of th^m; 
if a holy Stephen prays for his persecutors;, if ^..^ai^t 
Paul prays for his companions; if, in fine, the Saints mi 
pmy for us, why cannot we beseech the Sainta to iutflirqc^ 
^ us? Saint Paul reoomntienQU himself to^^ 
of hit disciples, " Brethren, pray for us.". " . Seiftt Jan^ 
exhorts us to pray one for another : " Pray one foy another, 
that you may be saved." ' Then we can do the same* 

No one denies that Jesus Christ is our only mediator of 
justice, and that He by His merits has obtained our recon- 
ciliation with God. But, on the other hand, it is impious 
to aseeit that God is not pleased to, grant graces at the 
intercession of his Saints, and more especially of Mary, 
his Mother, whom Jesus desires so much to see loved 
and honoured by all. Who cam pntend that the honour 

1 2 JZocA. XV, 14. » I Thes, v, 25. ' ' 

* OfvJx pro mvicem ut salremini— 5. /acU^ t, 16. 


bestowed on a moiher does not redound to the honour of 
the son ? " The ^oiy of Childien are their Fathm.''^ 
TVhenoe Saint Ben^pl s^ys, ' Let us not imagine that ure 
obscure the ^ly <^ the* 8cin^by tho> gieat praise we kvish 
on the Mother ; for, the more she is honoured, the greater 
is tii^ g^oiry of lier- Son/ *Thao^ can bono do«bt,'>9ay8 
the Sauit, 'that whatever we. say in pnise of the Mother 
is equally in praise of the Son.' ^ And Saint Ildephonsus 
also says, * That which is given to the Mother redounds 
to Vthe Soa; the honour given to tho Qjueen i» honour 
bestowed on the King/ ^ lliere can be no doubt that by 
the mmts of Jesus, Mary was made the mediatress of our 
iniTation, not indeed a mediaitress of justice^ bat. of gratse 
and inlereession $ as Saint Bonsventure expicssly ealfe 
her * Mary the most faithful mediatress of our salvaticNBL'^ 
And Saint Lawrence Justinian asks, 'Uow ctua she be 
oHierwise than fidlof grace, who has been made the ladder 
to paradise, the gate of heaven, the most true mediatiesis 
betweai God and man ? ' ^ 

Hence the learned Suarez justly remarks, that if we 
iiiipkvo our Blessed Lady to obtain us afavour> it is not 
because we distrust the Divine mercy» but ratibi^, that we 
ftsttf our own unworthiness and the absence of proper dis- 
positions; and we recommend ourselves to Mary, that 
her dignity may supply for our lowliness. He says, thfit 
we apply to Maiy, * m order that tiie dignity of the inljer- 
cesser may sup|dy for our misoy. Hence, to iavoke the 
aid of the most Blessed Virgin is not diffid^uie in 'Uie 
Divine mercy, but dread <^ our own unworthiuasa.'^ < 

^ Olcffift ittwnm ptttics nroiB.*— Pinw. xvSt 6« 

* Hon est dubionv fiudqaid in laodibua Hatrii profenmiu, ad FUimn pert|neiv. 
^^Jtom. vr, tup. 3tis9. 

« Btteiidat ad FiUan, <(ood iBMdtoir Mai^ 
dbCertiar in famulatum reguufc— 2m Virg. S. M. cap. xii. 
' « li(aria . . . lldeUttima mediatrix Mhrias ftiiC.--'W. J». V. U. UHi. tr. ' •"' 

* Onomodo iMm eat Maria, jiuUa Gabrielia gncsniai, jpleaA jiratia, qii^^lfe^ 
eat Mater Dei. paradisi icaUL ooeli jaaua, interventiix mondi, dstuomun fiiga, 
peccatoram apes, naufrasroatram p<»tii8, maria iteUa, oouAigimu perieECanlioiii, 
fDtaaien labfiraBtiam, ftuctuaiiiinm rolror,I)«i et hominuin trerisaima mediatiix ?r- 
Serm. d« Annime. '"'' 

* Ut dignitaa interceaaixis tuppleat inopiam noatram. Unde Yirpncm inter- 
peilaie, noa eat de Mviiia loisencordia diflBdere, sed de propria indignitate et 
Indispoaitione timere.— Df Incamat. P. II, Q. 37, iXisp. SS^ Sect. 3. 


123 TO THSB DO WE UCED, 700. 

That it ismostweiiilaiidliofytolunreTeecMiiMtotlM 
interDession of Maiy earn only be doubted by those wto 
have not faith. But tiiat which wt intend to pro^ hert, 
is, that the intercession of Maiy is even necessaiy to sabra* 
tioA: we say neoessaiy-^not absidntely, but morally. Tbu 
neeessity proceeds from the will itself of God, ^t all 
gsaces that He dispenses shoidd pass by ibe hawb of 
Mary, aooording to the opinion of Saint Bern^, and 
which we may now with safety call the general qpinieii 
of theologians and leaned men. The author of 'Tho 
Beign of Mary ' posilavdy asserts tbat sudk is the case. 
It is maintained by Vega, Mendosa, Paooindi^, 8egAerl, 
Poire, Craaset, and by imramemble other learned authors* 
Even Bather NataEs Alnander, who alwi^s nses so mudi 
reserve in his propositions, even he says that it is the will 
of Qod thai we should expeet all graces through the inter* 
oesaion of Maiy; I will give his own words : ' God willa 
that we should obtain all good things that we hope for 
from Him, through the powerful intercession of the Virgin 
Mother, and we shall obtain them whenever (as we are in 
duty bound) we invoke her.' ^ In oon&rmation of thaa, ho 
quotes the following cdebrated passage of Saint Bernards 
'Such is His will, that we i^ould have all by Mary/9 
Bather OontensoB is aiao of the same opinion; fbr, ex*- 
phiining the words, addressed by our Lord, on the OfOss^ 
to Saint John : " Behold thy Mother," beie marks, ^That 
it is the same thing as if he had 8aid-*-Aa no one can be 
savisd exoept througb the merits of my sufferings and 
death, so no one will be a partaker of the blood then shed, 
otherwise than through the pra^ of my Mother. He 
alone is a son of my sorrows who has Mary for bis Mother^ 
My wfNiBds are ever-flowing fountains of grace ; but their 
streanvi will iiepcb no one, but by the channel of Mary. In 
vain will he invoke Me as a Father, who has not venerated 

^ Qui Tult ut qmnia boiift ab ipso expectemns, potentisnana l^rg;>>^ matns 
intercessione ; cum earn ut par est, invocamus impetrauda.— Epist. lucri»iii cak« 
ton. iv, Mor^f. 

^ Sic eit voluatM cguB, qui totum aoa habere voluit per Hanaiik'»*/$«nih 4e 


Kaiy. B^% JMfotiiar* Andthou* my dificiple Johb^ if thou 
lo^st Me» love bar ; for thou wilt be beloved by Me* in 
.IKBOportioiitQ thy loy^ for hwi*^ 

Thid propositioa (that all that vre receive from our 
hotd comes through Mary) does not etaeUy pleaae a oer^ 
toin modern wiiter, who* althou^ in other respects he 
apeak9 of true and false deTotion with anueh learning and 
pi^ty, yet when he treats of devotion towards the I^itine 
Mothfff, he seems to gi^dge her that glcoy which was 
giTen her without strUple by a iBaint Gennanus, a Saint 
Anselmj a 8aiAt John Damaseen, a Saint BanaventUre» a 
Saint i^toninus^ a Saiat Bemardiitei the Yenerable Abbot 
c^ Celled, sAd so many other leaiteed men^ who had no 
difficulty in affitzuiug that the inteoroession of Mary is not 
only ilsefnl but necesseoy* The author alluded to says, 
that the proposition that God grants no grace otharwise 
than through Mary, is hyperbolical and exaggerated;^ 
hATing dropoed from the lips of some saints in the heat 
of fervour, out which, correctly speaking, is only to be 
understood as meaning/ that through Mary we received 
Jesus Christi by whose merits we obtain all graces ; for 
)m adds, * To bd^eve that God can grant us no graces ^th* 
out the intercession of Mary, would be contrary to faith 
md the doctrine of Saint Paul$ who says, that we acknow- 
ledge but ''one God and one Mediator of God and men» 
tte man Christ Jesus*" '^ 

But with his leave^ and going upon his own admis- 
sionsi mediation of justice by way of merit ia one things 
and medktion of grace by tvay of prayer is another. 
And again, it is one thing to say that Gt>d cannot, and 
another that He will not, gtasd grades without the inter* 
<)estton of Maiy< We wilhngiy admit, that God is the 

i Qtuisi Apefte fiiceret, «i(itit tieino potfefit sftlVari nfsi ^et merftum tJrnciB et 
main mat I ita ni^tb saogniniA illiul partio^ps erit| njuii interGesrioae Matria 
me». tile aoliia tlliua dolonim meorum reputabitur, cui Maria Mater erit. 
Vulnera gratiarum fontes perennes et patentee sunt; led ad nullos deriTabontnr 
HVi, niBipsr Mttrtalumi banaltiin et feqtitedticttim. 'Phisti'a trie invocabit Patrcra, 
qai Manam non fuerit veneratus ut Matrem. Ttt ipsemet, pradilccte diSdpTite 
Joannes, si me amas, earn ama : tantum enlm a me ainabcris quantum earn ama- 
ims.^Theot. Mentis et Cord. torn. ii. Kb. 10, D. 4, c. I 

>, 5. 


source of eveiy good, aad the absolute Master of aU 
graces ; and that Marjr i& only a piore creatirre, who 
receives whatever she obtains, as a pure favour firom God. 
But who can ever deny, that it is most reasonable and 
prc^r to assert, that God, in order ito exalt this great 
creature, who more than dl others honoured and loved 
Him during her life, and whom moreover He had chosen 
to be the Mother of His Son, our common Redeemer, wiUa 
that all graces that are granted to those whom he has 
rede^ned, should pass through and be dispensed by the 
hands of Mary ? We most readily admit, that Jesus Christ 
is the only Mediator of justice according to the distinction 
just made, and that by His merits He obtains us aU 
graces and salvation; but we say that Mary is the Me* 
diatress of grace; and that receiving all she obtains, 
through Jesus Ohnst, and because she prays and asks 
for it in the name of Jesus Christ, yet all the same what- 
ever graces we receive, they come to us, through her inter* 

There is certainly nothing contrary to faith in this, but 
the reverse : it is quite in accordance with the sentiments 
of the Church, which in its public and approved prayers, 
teaches us continually to have recourse to this Divine 
Mother, and to invoke her as the ' health of the weak, the 
refuge of sinners, the help of Christians, and as our life 
and hope.'^ In the office appointed to be said on the 
feasts of Mary, this same holy Church, applying the words 
of Ecclesiasticus to this blessed Virgin, gives us to under- 
stand that in her we find all hope : *' In me is all hope of 
life and of virtue ;"^ in Mary is every grace : " In me is all 
grace of the way and of the truth." ^ In Mary finally we 
shall find life and eternal salvation: ''Who finds me, finds 
life, and draws salvation from the Lord."* And elsewhere, 
** They that work by me, shall not sin ; they that explain 

^ Salas iolirmormn, refiigitmi peccatoram, anxilium Chria1ianoruin« vita, ipes 
« In me omnig spes vitro et ^Trtntis.— iJcct. xxiv, 25. 

* In me gratia omnia via: et veritatis. — Ih. 

♦ Qui me invenerit, iuveniet vitam, et haoriet salutem a Domijio,--Pfap. yiil 


•ebtt, shall' imV6 ererlBstaig Itfe/^^ And surely such ^qurea^ 
fiinAs a»ihfifie, sufiti^tly pit)T« that we fequm the inler- 
e^ssioti of Maay. 

Moreover, wb are tonfinned in this opinion, by do many 
theelogiaiiis and&thers, of irkcmi it is certainly ineon^eofc to 
say', aa tho above^maned author does, that in exalting 
HH^sPjT, they spoke hypei^olieaily, ond allowed freat eata^^ 
gerations to fall from their Mpe. To exiaggesiete and spede 
hyperbolieally, h to exceed the limits of truth; and surely 
we caimot aay, that Saints who were animated hy the S^^nrit 
of ^ 6od, which 19 truth itself, spdce thus. K I may bo 
flowed to make a shoit digression, and giire my own sen-* 
liment, it is, that when an opinion tends in any way to tha 
honour^'of the most Blessed Virgin, when it has soma 
feundation, and is repugnant n^thor to the -faitii, nor to 
fife daefees of the ehun^, nor to troth, the refusal to hold 
it,' 01^ to Appose it beoaase the revcTse mi^ be tiue, shows 
little devotHXi to the Mother of God. Of the number 6f 
such as these I do not choose to be, nor do I wish my 
loader to be so, but rather of the numb^ ai those who 
MSlj and firmly be]ie<^e all that ean, without error, be 
b^eved of the greatness of Mary, according to the Abbot 
Bup^, who, amongst the aets of homage most pleasing 
to this good Mother, places that of firmly believing, all that 
redounds to her honour.^ If there was nokhing else to 
take away our fear of exceeding in the praises of Mary, 
Baint'Augustine should suffice ; for he dedares, that what«» 
ever we may say in praise of Mary is little in comparison 
mth that which she deserves, on accotmt of her di^t^ of 
Mother of God ; and, moreover, the church says, in the 
mass appointed for her festivals, * Thou art happy, O sacred 
Virgin Mary, and most worthy of aU praise.' ^ 

But let us return to the point, and examine what the 
Saints say on the subject. Saint Bernard Says, 'thajb God 
has filled Mary with all graces^ so that men may receive 

1 Qui operantur in me, non peccabont. Qui eladdant me, ritam eotcraam 
babebant. — £rcl. xxiv, 80, 31. 
> Ejus uagnalin ftrmiter credere,~-i>0 Lnud. Virg. 
9 Felix namque es, sacra Virgo Maria^ et omni laude dignissiina. 

126 TO THfiX ]>0 WE SIOH« XTC. 

hj her meansj as by « cliaiind, eneiy good thing that 
(XAoes to them. He sajf s, ' that she is a fall aquedud, thati 
others may receive of her plenitude/ ^ On this the Saiob 
makes 4he foUowing »gniiicaiit remark : ' Before the foirtfa 
of the Blessed Virgin, a constant flow of graces was want*^ 
iiitg, because this aqueduet did not exist.' -^ But now that 
Maary hats been giTento the world, heavenly graces 0Qin«« 
stantly ik)w through her on all. 

The devil, like Holofemes, who, in order to gain pos^^ 
session of the city of Bethnlia, ordered the aqueducts to 
be destroyed, exerts Mmself to his utmost to destcoy de^ 
votion to the Mother of God in souls ; for if 4;his channel 
of grace is closed, he easily gains possession of them. And 
here continues the same Saint Bemaard 3 ' See, O soulsj 
with what tender devotion our Lord wills that we should 
boiMDur our Queen, by always having recourse to, andi 
relying on her protection ; for in Mary he has placed the 
plenitude of every good, so that, henceforward, we may 
know and acknowledge, that whatever hope, grace, of 
other advantage we possess, all come from the hand of 
Mary.'^ Saint Antoninus says the same thing: 'AH 
graces that have ever been bestowed on men, all came by 
Mary/ ^ And on this account, she is called the Moon, 
according to the following remark of Saint Bonaventure '< 
'As the moon, which stands between the sun and the 
earth, transmits to this latter whatever she receives fix>m 
the former, so does Mary pour out upon us who are in: 
this world, the heavenly graces that she receives from the 
Divine sun of justice.* ^ 

^ Flcniu cquidem aquieductui, ut accipiant cseteri de qua plenitudine. — Serm, 
de Aquad. 

* Propterea tanto tempore humano generi fluenta gratise defikernnt) quaA 
Becdum imtercedeiet is de quo loqaimm tain desiderabilis aquaeducttts.-^crfR. de 

' Xntaieinini quanto dcvotionia affectn a nobis earn vduerit honorari, qtd totiua 
boni plcnitudinem posnit in Maria : nt proinde si qnid spei in nobis est, si quid' 
gmjbi^, si q^ SAlKtiP, ab ea noverimiw rediindar6.<~^«rM. d9 Jqrmd. 

* Per B. Mariani exivit dc ccelis ad nos qoicquid unquam gratite ereatvm ventt 
in, nraiubunfi^P. iv, tit. Ik, c. i20. 

' (^ttia sicut luna inter corpora cnelesiia et tcrrena est media, et quod aV iUis 
accipit ad inferiom refundit : sic et Virgo regia inter nos et Dewn est me^, elj 
gnitinm ipsa nobis xtivax^ie-^erm. 1\,4e ^ut. Vom, t 


' Again:, 'the faoiy Churcli catts her"' the hapjyf gate of 
hearea;'^ for as the same^ Saitit Bernard rmnar^, ^As 
every mandate of grace that is' sent by a king, passes by 
ihepaiace gales, so does every grace that eomes inmc 
heaven to the world, pass through the hands of 'Mary/^ 
Saint Bonaventure says that Maty is called Uhe Gate o£ 
heaven, because no one can enteir that blessed kingdoM 
without passing by her.'^ An ancient antbor, probably 
Sunt -fioplffOniuS) in a sermon on the ^Assnmption,' pub- 
lished with the works of Saint ^rome, says 'that the 
^^litiide of grace, which is In Jesus Christ, csune into 
Maiy, liieugh in a different way,' ^ meaning, that it is in our 
Lord, as in the head from which the vital i^irits (that is; 
Bivine help to obtain eternal salvation) flow into us, who 
are the members of His mystieal body, and tiiat the same 
^nitiide is in Mary, as in the neck, through which these 
vital spirits pass to the members.'^ The same idea is eon- 
iirmed by Saint Bemardine of ^enna, who explains it 
more clearly, saying, ' that all graces of the spintual life 
that descmd from Christ, their head, to the faithful, who 
are his mystical body, are transmitted by the means of 

The same Saint Beraardine endeavo^irs to assign a rea- 
son iM this, when he says, 'that as God was pleased to dwell 
in the womb of this holy Vii^in, she acquired, so to say, a 
kind of jurisdiction overall graces; for when Jesus Clunst 
issued forth frt)m her most sacred womb, all the stveams 
of Dhine gifts flowed from her as from a celestial ocean.'^ 
Elsewhere, repeating the same idea in more distinct 

* Felix codi porta. 

* Nihil nos Dens habere Tolnit quod per Marise manns non transiret. — Serm. 
ill, itt Viff. JM. D. 

* Nnlhis potest . . . coeltun intrare, nisi per Kariam transeat tamqaam pef 
-portam. — Sxposit. in cap. i Lite. 

^ In Mariam vero totnu natire qnn in Christo est plenitndovenit, qnamquam 
aMter.— tSptwi. de Aasum^. B. V. 

* Per Virginem a eapite Christi vitales gnitie in cjtis eorpos mystxenm trtdM* 
fttndnntnr.--.SmM. de Ntit. B. M. V. cap. viii. 

* Cnm . . . iota natnra Divina . . . intra Yirginis ntentm extilerit etonsnm : 
non timeo dicere qnod omnium gratianim effluxtu qnamdam jnnsdictiohAn 
littbnefit hfte Virgo, de n^ns ntero quasi de qnodam l>Mttitati« oceanO, ri>i ^ 
jlnmina enia^jftbant oinnimn.^tiarum.— iS^/.«. de ffaih. fl. M. V. eap. viii. 

lt&. TO TtLSB 1K> WB 8I6H, BTO. 

He asserts t^t ^tamt tke motnenl that ibis Tirgm 
Mother coRoemd- the Piniie Word in hear womb, she 
acqnked a special jafisdictisii, so^ to say, over all ihe gifts 
of. like Hcdy Ohost, so ihai no creatuie has sinoe reccdved 
asSij giaoe fiom God, otherwise than hj the hands of 
Maiy<.'^ Aaoothtt saihor, in a oommentapjr on a passage 
of Jeremias, in which the ppo^iet, speaking of the Inea^r- 
natioii of the £t»nial Word, and cf Maiy, His Mother, 
8a]f% that ^a woman shail oMnpaas a man,' reaiarks, th«t 
'as no line eaa he ^wn from Uie eentre of a eii^eie 
withont passing by the ciircimiilaenee, so no graee^fffo- 
oeeds from Jesnst who is the eentie of eveiy good tUog, 
without passing by Maory, who compassed l&n^ when she 
leoerred Him into her womb/ Saint Beinardine- says, that 
for tiuB reason ^all gilts, all virtnes, and aft graces^ ai^ 
dispensed by the hands of Maiy, to- whomsoever, wh^i, 
and as she pleases.-^ Biohard of Saint Lawxenee also 
asserts 'that Gpd witis, that whatever good things He 
bestows on his ereatnres, should pass h^ the hands of 
Mary.-' And, therefore, the venerable Abbot of (Mies 
^daorts all to have reoouTBe to ^ this treasuxy of graces,' 
(for so he calls her) ; for the world and the whole human 
race has to receive every good that can be hoped for, 
thymgh her alone. 'Address yourselves to the Messed 
Virgin/ he says ; < for by her, and in her, and with her, 
and from her, the world receives, and is to reoeive, every 
good.' ^ It must be now evident to all, that when thes^ 
saints, and authors tell us, ia audi tenns, that all grttdes 
oome to us through Mary, they do not simply mean to 

. } A tempore , . , a quo Virgo Hater coucepit in utero VerbiuQ Dei, qaandam 
Cut. sic dicam) jurisdictiGnem sen auctoritatem dbtinuit in onmi Spiriivfl Sat¥^ 
procedsioQetemporali} itaquod nulla creatura aliquam a Deo obtinuit gmtiam, 
nisi secundum ipsius pise Matris dispensationem. — Serm. d« Nativ. B, M. V, 
ckdl yiiit 

' Ideo omnia dona, virtutes et gratiae ipaiua Spiritua Sancti, ^uibug volt, quando 
v^tkquoqiQ|il»T«)t, et quantum vult, per manua ipsiua »diiunistrant«r.~«^«rffl. 
de Nativ. JS. M. V. cap. viii. 

;;? iQ,i|iqiii4a^ bWi dat creatims soia, per monua Matiia Yirgiius vult trannre. 
-r^t^Jfmi, fvrg. Ub.ii, cap. 3. 

* Accede ad virginem, quia per ipsam,et in ipsa, et cum ipsa, et ab ipaa habet 
muudu9 et babiturus est omne bonum.— i>0 Contm^U B. V, m Srol. 


say, tbai we ' received Jesus Ghiist, tlie souree of every 
gocKl, ikroagh Maiy/ as the befoieiiamed writer pre- 
tends ; but that they assure us, that God, who gave us 
Jesus Chiist, wills that all graees that have been, that 
are, and will be dispoised to men, to the end of Ihe woild, 
through the merits of Christ, should be dispensed by tiie 
hands, and through the intercession d Mary. 

And thus Father Snarez concludes, that it is the senti*- 
rn^nt of the universal Church, ' that the intercession and 
prayers of Mary are, above those of all others, not onl^ 
useful, but necessary.'^ Necessary, in accordance with what 
we have already said, not with an absolute necessity; for 
the mediation of Jesus Christ alone is absolutely neces- 
sary; but with a moral necessity, for the Church believes 
with Saint Bernard, that God has determined that no grace 
shall be granted, otherwise than by the hands of Maiy. 
' Grod wills,' says the saint, ' that we should have nothiBg 
that has not passed by the hands of Maiy ;' ^ and before 
Saint Bernard, Saint Ildephonsus asserted liie same thing, 
addressing the Blessed Virgin in the following terms : 'O 
Maiy, God has decided on committing all good gifts, that 
he has provided for men, to thy hands ; and, therefore, He 
has entrusted all treasures and riches of grace to thee.' ' 
And, therefore. Saint Peter Damian remarks,^ ' that Gpd 
would not become man, without the consent of Maiy ; in 
the first place, that we might feel ourselves under great 
obligations to her ; and in the second, that we might un- 
derstand that the salvation of all is left to the care of 
this Blessed Virgin.' 

Saint Bonaventure, on the words of the Prophet Isaias, 
*' And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, 
and a flower shall rise up out of his root, and the spirit of 

1 SentH . . . Ecdesia Yizg^iiili intereessbnem et oiatioiieia pne onmibos alat 
sibi eMe vtakn, ac ntetmanua.—JDe lucMnuU. P. ii, Q. 87> JOtp- S3, Sect. S. 

> Nihil not liem babere vohut* qaoA per Maiiao naims non tnmsiiet. — Serm, 
m, in Vig. Nat. Dom. 

* Omioaboiuiqine iUis aanuna miqestM deoevii fiieere, tos numibva decrerit 
commendare : oommisai qnippe sunt nianibua toia theaaiiri, et orBameiita 
gratJTOTi. — 1» Cor. Virg. cap. 15. f 

i Jk Nat. Tirg. of. foe. Exc. n. 15, f 


i\» Loord shall rest upon him," ^ makes a benuiifal remark* 
sjiyingi * Whoevor desires tha seven-fold grape of the Holy 
Spiht» let him seek for the flower of the Holjr Ghosts in 
the i;od*' That is, for Jesus in Mary ; ' For by the rod 
we find the flower^ &nd by the flower, Godi' And in the 
twelfth chapter <of the same work, he adds, ' If you desite 
to possess this floWer, bend down the rod, which beavs 
the floTwer, by prayer; and so you will obtain it.' ^ The 
seraphioaL father, in his senHon for the Epiphany^ on the 
notds of St. Matthew, " They found the cluld> with Mary, 
Us. Mother," reminds us, that if we wish to find Jesus, 
we must go to Maijr.^ We may then conclude, that in 
vain shall we seek for Jesus, utiless we endeatour to find 
him with Mary. And so Saint Ildephonsus saye, ' I desire 
to be the servant of the Son; but because no one will ever 
be so, without saiving the Mother, — ^for this reason I 
desire the servitude of Maj^.'^ 


Belluaceneis and Ciesarius relate, that there was a 
twrtain noble youth, who had redmoed himself bjr his vices, 
from a state erf opulenocj in which he had been left by his 
fitfeher, to one of such poverty, that he was obliged to b6g 
his biiad. He left his ooimtry, that he might be able to 
live with kss shalne in a place where he Was unknown. 
On his road, he one day met a man, who had fonnedy 
been Mb father's servant. This man, seeing him in sm^ 
afliiction, on account of the distress int6 which he had 
•fWlen, told him to be of good heart,- for he would take 
him to a prince who was so liberal, that he would be pro- 

1 Et egredietur virga de radice Jesse, et flos de radice ejna a3cendet,et requies- 
cet super cum Spiritus Domini. — Is. xi, 1. 

' Qtdciunqitte s^tiformem Spiritus Sancti gratiam adipisci desiderat, ipse 
florem Spiritus Sancti in tirga queerat : per rirgam etiim ad flotem, 'pet lior^m 
ad flpiritnm, in ipso requieMentem perreinmas ... Si hune florem habere desi- 
deras, virgam floris precibus flectas. — Spec. B. 31. V. Lect. vi et xii. 

* Iiivenerunt puentm earn Mai^ matre ej«s. St er^ hvno puetum Tie 
iavenirc, ad Marnen ilceede. — Semn. iv, Lom. injfr. 8, Nat. D. 

4 Ut sim dcvotus servus Tilii (generati), serritutum ftdeKter appeto getiitricid. 
— De Vtrginitate S. Mar. cap. xii. 


Tided witli all he could desire. This abandoned wretch was 
a sorcerer ; and one day he led the poor youth to a wood, 
near a lake, and began tb address an invisible person. 
The youth asked hiili to whom he was speaking ? he replied,- 

* To the devilj' but seeing that the young man was alarmed; 
he encouraged him, and told him to fear noMng 5 arid 
then continued to address the evil spirit, and saidi 

* Master, this young man is reduced to the greatest po^ 
verty ; he would ^vish to be reinstated ia his possesrfofis.* 
— ♦ If he will obey me,' replied the fiend, * I wiU make 
him richer than ever; but, in the first place, he must 
renounce God.* This horrified the young man; Imt bein^ 
incited to it by that cursed magician, he complied, asra 
renounced his God. * But that is not enough/ added the 
devil,' ' he must also renounce Mary, Ibr to her we ar4 
indebted for our greatest losses. Oh, how many does she 
not snatch from our hands, and lead back to God, and 
save,* • Ah, no,' answered the youth, * that I will never 
do ; deny my Mother, indeed 1 she is all my hope ; rathep 
would I go begging all my life long ;' and so saying, he 
left the spot. On Ids return, he passed by a ohurch dedi- 
eated to Mary. The aflBicted youth entered, and east him- 
self on his knees before her image, and began to weep, 
and implore her to obtain him the paMlon of his sins. He 
had scarcely done so, when Maiy began to intercede with 
her Son, for the poor wretch. Jesus at first replied: ^ Bnt, 
Mother, this ungrateful soul has denied me.' B«t on 
seeing that his Mother did not cease to pray, he saidi 
finally, 'O Mother, I never denied thee anything $ ha is 
forgiven, since thou askest it.' The person who- tad pitfi 
chased all the property of the young spendHnift, was cow* 
cealed in the chapel, and heard all that passed, and wit- 
nessed the compassion of Mary towards this sinner. He*' 
had an only daughter, and determined to give her to the 
young man in marriage, and make him hek of all he pos- 
sessed. And thus did this youth recover both the grace 
of God and his temporal possessions, by the means of 


TO ^Bm- 1)0 %B tl^Ui tl^i 


1 i 

O my soul, see what a sure hope of salvation and 
gtetitai iMe ear Lofd hm giveti tkeo, bf ha^ng'lttr his 
mercy inspired theetwith^^cMifideiKe in the igttMtyiig^\^ 
His lifoihcilr} and tkis^ ndwithstmd^g tiiftt so HAofQr 
times, by thy sks^ ibou hast maited his 'displeastire >sttd 
hell, lliac^ tky Ood, «tid thank thy ptoteatFMs^ lib^^ 
who hM condescended to take ^ee i»der hiflr mai^tlet- ^ 
of this thou mayest be w^ oonTinoed^ after the miMy 
'gtstees that thou hast received by her means^ - O yes,<' £ 
do thank thee, my most loving Mother, for aU thcnr ln«t 
done (at me, whd am deserving of hell. And ^ift holv 
many dangers hast thou not delivered me^ O Queeft! 
Heiw numy inqpinitions and mercies hast thou not obttdm^ 
lor me Irom God? What service, what honour; haVe I 
''ev«r iiendered thee, that thou shouldst do so much for m^? 
• I know that it is thy sde goodness that has impelled 
thee. AH \ too little would it be, in comparison with, ail 
that I owe thee, — did I shed my blood and givemy life 
Ibr thee ; for tiion hast delivered me irom eternal dealih ; 
tbonha^ enabled me, as I hope, to recover Divine gf^d^; 
to ^ee, in fine, I owe all I have. My most amiable 
Lady, I, poor wretch that I am, can make thee no t^ 
UeeOt but that of always loving and praising thee. Ai, 
disdain not to accept the tender affection of a poor 
sinner, who is inflamed with love for thy goodness. If 
my heart is unworthy to love thee, because it is' impure 
and filled with earthly affections, it is thou who must 
•change it. Ah) change it, then. Bind metomy^^od, 
itndbiadnite sotiiat I may never more have it in my power 
toj separate myself firom Bib love. Thou askest of me 
that I should love thy Grod, and I ask of thee that thou 
• ^rifhc/Aldstltr obtaiti this love for me, to love Him always ; tj^s 
-.iftiialL.tiiai I desire. Amen. 

l.f 'tlMO 

M T9IUB. DQ IW£ 81^^ 9570. :)[di3 

Section II. — 2%e smne 9uhfect contmued. 

,'{t\ ^tio^'i&mmi says, Hhat MeA man a«d a M>x)i|oim oo- 
9p^i^Ktedim;0ujt ruin, ao it was.propw tk«t another laAiii 
m^fi^D^Om fwoDftm 9hoi«ld eoK)perate ia our ««d^iqption ; 
m^ ^Ik^ .t^/Wiese JfBfliik8, And His Metkeof M«Q!y/ * Th6«e 
i/%j|0[ 4P^bt/ .8iiy9 the Saini, 'that Jesms ChiMt atone was 
W>i^>:th9i»i «tt£^ie»t to xedeexi u9> but it lyas BOKiQre h«- 
iHW^ng tfiati both, aaxies stkoiikl <x)H(^)erate in the xeparatiiCNi 
:6f. 4ia 9^, in causing whiish botk had shared.' ^ ^Qm^ 
ki¥)B9(4-AU)evt tke Chreat ooUs Mary 'the Helper pf 
JBi9dQ0^pti<KL;' and this Blessed Virgin herself revenledto 
Si^i Bridg^jt, that ' as Adam and £ve sold the world for 
ap< ap^ej so did she with her Son redeem it as it were 
witb one heaart.' ^ This is confirmed by Saint AasqUk, 
who .says, * that altkougk God could create the woidd out 
:(^.n9tlung» yet when it was lost by sin. He would not 
l^epftir the eyil without the cO'K)peration of Mary/ ^ 

Suare8.say;i» ' that Mary co-operated in our salvation in 
tjii^ w<^9 ; fix^t, by having merited by a merit of Qoa- 
IpFiuiity tke iixcamation of the word; secondly, by having 
^anwually prayed tot us whilst she was living in* this 
w(orld; tlurdly, by having willingly sacrificed tie lifo of 
\ifit Son to God.' For this reason our Lord hai juatfy 
decreed, that as Mary co-operated in the salvation of man 
wim so much love, and at tke same time gave suck gk}ry 
,^ 6od».so all m«3i, througk ker intercession, are to oUain 
tkeir salvation. 

Mary i» called * the co*operator in our justifioation; for 
ia k^r Qod kas entrusted all graces inten^d for .us ]>«iid 
tkcrefore Saint Bernard affirms, * that all men, past, pre- 

. • • . 1 .1] 

^ CoagraiHn nuupi ,< ut a^eaaet nostne reparationi w^JUk iiUr«i9« * qu^ynim 
Mxta^tioiii neater deftiitset.— ^«rm. in Sign. Miign. 

* Sunt enim Adam et Era Tendidemnt muBdnm t>io vnopomo, ftifiUlitM iddif 
et e{(0 redemiiDiis numduni qnaai com uno carde.— Lib. i, c. 36. 

Qui potnit omnia de nihilo facere, noluit ea TioUta sine Maria refioere.— > 

« Auxiliatnz noftni jottificationiai quia Deui omnet gratiafl fedendas Mariie 


134 TO THBB DO WE 8iaH, ETC. 

sent, and to come, should look upon Mary as the means 
and negociator of the saLvatiou of all ages.'^ 

Jesus Christ says, that no one can find him unless the 
Eternal Father first draws him by the means of Divine 
grace : " No one comes to me, unless my Father draws 
him." ^ Thus also does Jesus address his Mother, says 
Eichard of Saint Lawrence : ^ No one comes to me, unless 
my Mother first of all draws him by her prayers.'* Jesus 
was the fruit of Mary, as Saint Elizabeth told her: 
'* Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the 
fruit of thy womb." * Whoever, therefore, desires the fruit, 
must go to the tree ; whoever desires Jesus, must go to 
Mary; and whoever finds Mary, willmost certainlyfind Jesus. 

When Saint Elizabeth saw that the most Blessed Yirgia 
had come to visit her in her own house, not knowing how 
to thank her, and filled with humility, she exclaimed: 
*' And whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord 
should visit me ?"^ But how could this be, we may ask ? 
Did not Saint Elizabeth already know, that not only Maiy, 
but also Jesus, had entered her house P Why th^i does 
she say, that she is unworthy to receive the* Mother ; a&d 
not rather, that she is unworthy to receive the Son, who 
had come to visit her. Ah, yes, it was that the Saint 
knew full well that when Mary comes she brings Jesus, 
and therefore it was sufficient to thank the Mother without 
naming the Son. 

'^She is like the merchant's ship, she bringeth her 
bread from afar."^ Mary was this fortunate ship that 
brought us Jesus Christ from heaven, who is the living 
bread that comes down from heaven to give us etemd 
life ; as He himself says : " I am the living bread,, which 

^ Ad illam . . . sicut ad medium, sicut ad arcam Dei, sicnt ad rerum catisani, 
sicut ad negotium Bseculonun respiciunt, et qui caelo habitant, et qiii in inferno, 
et qui noa pneceasenmt, et nos qoi sumits, et qui 8eqncntur.~<-iS(inrt. ii, in Ftntec. 

* Nemo potest venire ad me, niai Pater, qui miait me traxeiit eimu—^ooii. 
vi, 44. 

3 TS'cnio venit ad me, nisi Mater mea suis piecibna traxerit eum. f 

4 Beuedicta tu inter muUeres, et benedictas firuetna ventvia ixa.-^JMe. i, 43. 

5 Et unde hoc mihi, ut veniat Mater Domini raei ad me ? — JmcA, 43. 

^ Facta est quasi naviB inatitoria, de losge portana pmem v«Bm,*^Prov» 
xxxi, 14. 

TO THSB DO W« SlftS, ETC. 185 

came down from heaven : if any man eat of this bread, he 
shall live for ever."^ And hence Eichard of Saint 
Lftwrenoe sajs, ' that in the sea of this world all will be 
lost who are not received into this ship ; that is io say, aU 
who are not protected by Mary;' and therefore, he adds, 

* As often as we see ourselves in danger of perishing in the 
midst of the temptations and contending passions of this 
life, let us have reoonrse to Mary, and cry out quickly, O 
Lady, help us, save us, if thou wilt not see us perish.' 2 
And remark, by the bye, that this vmter does not scruple 
to address these words to Maiy: * Save us, we perish ;' as 
does a certain author already noticed, and who says, that 
we cannot ask Mary to save us, as this belongs to Qod 
alone. But since a culprit condemned to death can beg a 
Toyal favourite to save him by interceding with the king 
that his life may be spared, why cannot we ask the Mother 
of God to save us, by obtaining us eternal life ? Saint 
John Damascen scrupled not to address her in these words : 

* Pure and immaculate Virgin, save me, and deliver me 
4rom eternal damnation/* Saint Bonaventure called 
Mary* the salvation of those who invoked her.'* The 
holy Church approves of the invocation, by also calling her 
the * Salvation of the weak.' ^ And shall we scruple to ask 
her to save us, when 'the way of salvation is open to 
none otherwise than through Mary ?'^ as a certain author 
remarks. And before him Saint Germanus had said the 
same thing, speaking of Mary: 'No one is saved but 
through thee.' 7 

But let us now see what else the Saints say of the need 
in which we are of the intercession of the Divine Mother. 

i Ego tarn panis vims, qoi de ceelo descend!. Si qtiis mandncaverit ex hoc 
pane, tivel; hi eeteniiim. — Joan, vi, 51, 62. 

* In mare mnxidi submergentnr onmes illi, quoe non euscipit navis ista . . . 
Ideo quoties ridemua insurEentes raper nos fluctus qua maris, clamare debemas 
ad If ariam . . . Domina, ntn. noa, perimus. — De Laud. V. lib. xi, cap. 8. 

' A gehenna. et a flamma libera me, O Virgo Immacnlata . . . inexpngnabili tao 
ac divino pneaidio, libera et aalva me. — Paracletiea in S. Deip. 

* Tu aalua te inTOcantiiim. — Hym. de B. M. V. ad inst. T« Deum. 

* Salna infirmorum. 

* Nemdni nisi per earn patet aditus ad salntem. — Paecive. de B. Virg. 
7 Nemo salutis compos nisi per te, Deipara. — In Dorm. B. V. Oral. ii. 


The glorious Saint Cajeian used to say, that we may 
seek for graces, but shall never find them without the in- 
tercession of Maiy. Hus is confirmed by Saint Antoninus, 
who thus beautifully expresses himself: 'Whoever asks 
and expects to obtain graces without the intercession of 
Mary, endeavours to fly without wings ;' ^ for, as Ruraoh 
said to Joseph, " the land of Egypt is in thy hands ;" and 
addressed all who came to him for food to Joseph : " Gro to 
Joseph;" so does God sendus to Maiy when we seek for grace : 
" Go to Maiy;" for * He has decreed,' says Saint Bernard, 
' that he will grant no graces otherwise than by the hands 
of MaiY.' ^ ' And thus,' says Bichard of Saint Lawrenoe, 
'our salvation is in the hands of Maiy, so that we Christians 
may, with much greater reason, say of her than the 
Egyptians of Joseph : " Our salvation is in thy hands." * ' 
The venerable Eaymond Jordano repeats the same thing : 
' Our salvation is in her hands.' * Cassian speaks in still 
stronger terms. He says absolutely, ' that the salvation of 
all depends on their being favoured and protected by Mary.'* 
He who is protected by Mary, will be saved; he who is 
not, will be lost. Saint Bemardine of Sienna thus addresses 
this Blessed Virgin: ' O Lady, since thou art the dispenser 
of all graces, and since the grace of salvation can only come 
through thy hands, our salvation depends on thee.'® There- 
fore, Bichard of St. Lawrence had good reason for saying, 
that ' as we should fall into the abyss, if the ground were 
withdrawn from under our feet, so does a soul deprived of 
the succour of Mary, first fall into sin, and then into hell.' 7 
Saint Bonaventure says, that 'God will not save us without 

1 Qui petit sine ipsa dnec, sine peimis sea alis tentat volare.— P. iii, Tit. IS, 

* Totnm nos habere voluit per Mariam.— 5(m». de JfaHv. B. Vtrg. 

* Sains nostra in mann ilfins est, nt ei dicere multo verius valeamns nos 
Christiaui, qnam dixerint Egyptii Joseph : Salus nostra in manu tua est— Dv 
Land. Virg. Lib. ii, cap. 1. 

* Sains nostra in nana illius est.— 2>0 Contempt. B. V. in Prot 

* Tota sains mnndi consisttt in multitudine fayoris Manse, t 

* Tu dispensatrix omnium gratiamm: salus nostra in manu tua est.— ^nw. i, 
ie Ntiixv. B. rtrg. 

7 Quia subtracta terra, statim descendimus in infemum viventes sic subtracto 
nobis a^atorio Maris, statun labimur in peccatum, et inde in iaferBum.— Dr 
Lavi, V%rg. lib. viii, cap. 1, 


tile intercessioii of Mary/^ And, 'that as a child cannot Kre 
fritbout a nurse to suckle it, so no one can be saved with- 
out the protection of IVIary/ ^ Therefore lie exhorts us 
* to thirst after devotion to her, to preserve it with care, 
and never to abandon it, until we have received her 
maternal blessing- in heaven/ ' And whoever, exclaims 
Saint Gennanus, could know God were it not for thee^ 
most holy Mary ? Who would be saved ? TVho would 
be preserved from dangers? Who would receive any 
ffcncGf were it not for thee, Mother of God, O full of 
sirace ? The following are the beautiful words in which 
he expresses himself: 'There is no one, most boly 
iiarj, who can know God but through thee ; no one who 
can be saved or redeemed, but througb thee, Mother erf 
God ; no one who can be delivered from dangers, bujt 
ibougb thee, Virgin Mother ; no one who obtains 
mercy, but througk thee, filled with all grace.' * An»d 
in another place, addressing her, he says, * No one would 
be free from the effects of the concupiscence of the fleshy 
and from sin, unless thou didst open the way to him.* * 
- And as we have access to the Eternal Pather, says 
Saint Bernard, only through Jesus Christ, so have we 
access to Jesus Christ only through Mary : * By thee we 
have access to the Son, blessed finder of grace, bearer of 
life, and Mother of salvation, that we may receive Him by 
thee, who, through thee, was given to us.' ® This is the 
Teason given by the Saint why our Lord has determined 
that all shall be saved by the intercession of Mary ; and 

' 1 Ipae kine m boh Mltalnt te.— Cbit<. B. M. V: iiiat OKm MrnpH, 

' Qaemadmodum. infans sine nutrice nonpotest vivere ; ita nee sine Domina 
nostra, potcfl habere stdutfem — Ini Cant. B. v.xnst. iVMu Moysi. ' * ^ 

* SItiat erm anima tos ad ip8iim« tene ean, nee dimikttt, doner tenedixttit tfbi . 
'^Cant. B. V. nd inaf. iUius Mogai. 

* Nemo Dei cognitione repletus est, nisi per tc, Sanctissima ; nemb sahitis 
compos, nisi ner te, Ddpani; it«mo reddmptns, iiiBi per te,'Ucd Mates v nemo 
pericula eyadit, nisi per te, Tirgo Dei Mater \ nemo> misevirovdieB ;0D]iM4|uitur 
Irdtiam, nisi per te, O Dei gratia pltins.— /m Dom^ B. V. Orat. ii. - 

9 Nisi enim tu ducatnm prsstares, nemo spiritaalis efflceret«D.«-^iii D^wm. B. 
% Orat. ii. 

^^^« Per te aeeessniH hafbeKttfs ad Ffli«m, O b^nedicta infwitHx fvaAise^ gsaftm 
ritn. Mater salutis ; ut per te no9 stiscipiat, qui per te datns'est u(]ft)iv>HjD« )d^. 
Bom. Serm. ii. 

12 § 

138 TO TH£E DO WE 8I6H, £T0. 

therefore be calls her the Mother of grace and of our sal- 
vation. ' Then/ asks Saint Gennanxis, ' what will bei^me 
of OS ? What hope can we have of salvation, if thou dost 
abandon us, Maiy, who art the life of Christians ?* ^ 

'But/ says the modem author, abready quoted, ' if aU 
graces oome through Maiy, when we implore the inter- 
cession of other saints, they must have recourse to the 
mediation of Mary.' ' But that,' he says, ' no one beUeves 
or ever dreamt.' As to believing it, 1 reply, that m 
that th^e can be no &ncor or difficulty : what difficulty 
can there be in saying that God, in mrder to honour His 
Mother, and having made her Queen of Saints, and will*- 
ing that all graces shall be dispensed by her hands, 
should also wfll that the saints should address themselves 
to her to obtain favours for their clients ? And as to say* 
ing that no one ever dreamt of such a thing, I find that 
Saint Bernard, Saint Anselm, Saint Bonaventure, Suaresi,^ 
and others expressly declare it to be the case. * In vain,' 
says Saint Bernard, ' would a person ask other saints for 
a favour, if Mary did not interpose to obtain it ?' ^ Some 
other author explaining the words of the Psalm, "All the 
rich among the people shall entreat thy countenance," ^ 
says ' that the saints are the rich of that great people of 
God, who, when they wish to obtain a favour from 
God for their clients, recommend themselves to Mary, and 
she immediately obtains it.' A^ Father Suarez correctly 
remarks, 'That we beg the saints to be our intercessors 
with Mary, because she is their Queen and Sovereign 
Lady.' ' Amongst the saints,' he says, ' we do not make 
use of one to intercede with the other as all are of the 
same order : but we do ask them to intercede with Mary 
because she is their Sovereign and Queen.' ^ 

1 Si ta noi deiernerw, guonam eoafajneinuft? quidnam aatem de nobis fiet, 
O Sanctissima Beipara, spiritus et vita UoristianQniiu ?<— jD« Zona Virg. 

* De Incamat. V. 11, Q, 37, Disp. 23, Sect. 3. 

' Frnstra alios Sanctos oraret qiiciu ista non a((juvaiet. t 

* Yultiim tuum dcwecabuntur onmes divitoi plebis. — Fs. xliv. 13. 

* Inter aiUos Sanctos non utaonur ono ut intcrcessOTe ad alium, qnia omn«ti 
sunt cjuidem ordinis. Ad Vii'«nnem autem tanqoam ad Eeginam et Doiuinmn- 
iilii adiiihcntur iiitcrccsBorcs.-Tom. xvii, Q. 37, art. 4, sect. 3. 

TO THSS DO WE 8I6H, E1H3. 1B9 

- And tliis u pfeciBely what &ajjai Beliediet pfoinised to 
Saint Fnmces of Eome, as we read in Father Marchese ;^ 
for he appealed to her, and taking her nnder his protec- 
tion, he promised that he would be her adtooate with the 
Bivkie Mother. In confirmation of this, Saint Ansehn 
addbresses our Kessed Lady and says, ^O, Lady, whateva: 
ail' the saints, united with thee, can obtain, thou canst 
obtidn alone.'* * And why is this ?' asks the saint ; * why 
is it that thou alone hast such great power ? Ah ! it is 
beeau&e thou alone art the Mother of our common Be- 
di^mer ; thoa art the spouse of Grod ; thou art the uni*' 
versal Queen of heaven and earth.' ^ If thou dost not 
speak for us, no saint will pray for or help us.* But if 
ihoQ beginnest to pray for us, then wiU all the saints do 
tHa-same and succour us.^ 80 that Father Segneri, in his 
Devowt Client of Mary, applying with the Catholic Church 
the words of Ecdesiasticus to her : ** I alone have com- 
passed the circuit of heayen:"* says, *that as the first 
sphere by its motion sets all the others in motion, so 
it is when Mary prays for a soul, immediately the whole 
heavenly court begins to pray with her.' * Nay, more/ 
says Saint Bonaventure, * whenever the most sacred Virgin 
goes to God to intercede for us, she, as Queen, commands 
aM the angels and saints to accompany her, and unite 
their prayers with hers.' 7 

' And thus, finally, do we understand why the Holy 
Church Inquires that we should salute and invoke the 
Divine Mother under the glorious title of * Our Hope.' * 
The impious Luther said, ' That he could not endure that 
the Boman Church should call Mary,. who is only a crea- 

1 Nel Biario di Mam aUcSl de Mano. 

' Qaod pouuit omnes iati tecam, tu sola potes sine illis omnibus. — Orai. xlr, 
ad. B. Virg. 

* Qmift Hater ea BalTatoria noatri, sponsa DeL regixm cocH et ieaiB.'-Oraf. xlr. 

* Te taeente, nnfios onhit, nnllns jvLrahit—Ib. 

* Te orante, omnes orabunt, onmes jnvabimt.— /&. 

* 67mm ogbU circuivi adiA.-'Scel. xxbr, 8. 

^ ffl ando Vfrgo flanctissima nroeedit ad Dewm pro nobis dcnrecanchim, impeat 
Mitral et saaetis, ut eani comitentur, et simnl aim ipsa Attisdmnitf pro nobis 
fOUMWHt.'-^. Bm. in Spec. V. cap. ijl + 

■ Spcs nostr.i 9i\\ym. 


ture *' Chur H<^;" for/ said he, ' God done, end Jesus 
Chnat; as our Mediator is our hope; and Gk>d corses thpsa 
who place their hope in a creatine, according to the pro^ 
phat Jeremiass "Cursed be the man that tmsteth in 
man.''^ But the Church teaches, us to invoke Maiy on 
all oeoasions, and to call hest ' Our Hope, haU ! our Hope.'. 
WhoeYer places his confidence in a creature indqtendently 
of God, he certainly is cursed by God; for God is the 
only source ^uid dispenser of erery good, and the creatuve- 
witiiont God is nothing, and can give nothing. But if 
our Lord has so disposed it, as we have already pioyed 
that He has done, that all graces should pass by Maty as 
by a channel of mercy, we not only can, but ought to 
assert that she, by whose means we receiye the Di?ine 
^praces, is truly our Hope. And, therefore, Saint Ber- 
nard says, 'that she is his greatest confidence, and the 
whole foundation of his Hope/ ^ Saint John Damascen 
says the same thing; for he thus addresses the most 
Blessed Virgin : * O Lady, in thee have I placed all my 
Hope, and with my eyes fixed on thee ; from thee do I 
expect salvation.'^ Saint Thomas says, 'that Mary is 
the whole Hope of our salvation ;' ♦ and Saint Ephrem 
addressing her, says, *0 most holy Virgin, receive us under 
thy protection if thou wilt see us saved, for we have no 
Hope of salvation but through thy means/ * 

Let us then, in the words of Saint Bernard, * endeavour 
to venerate this Divine Mother with the whole i^ection of 
our hearts ; for such is the will of God, who is pleased 
that we should receive every good thing from her hand/ • 
And therefore the Saint ediorts us wheneveifwd desire or 

1 M'aledictus liomo qui confidit in hoodae. — Jerem. xvfi, S. 
' a VUidli, heee pecMtarum tctOn, heee mcft maxina Actoeia ttA, kae toU mtio 
spd mete. — In Nat. 3. M. V. Serm. i. 

s In te spem m«un totam ex animo colloeavi, et iatentis ocnlis aba te 
pendeo. — Taracletiea in 8. Deip. 
■ * Ornnis spes vite. — Opnse. vfd. f 

> !(fon nobis est alia quam in te Mncia, O Virgo gineexiflshna. Sll1> tiiadtti^ttB 
tattiid, et jrrotcctiottc ton aramtia.— D* lAtnd. Tira. ' " 

^ ttiiiB :'. .inediiilis oordinm, totis pneeordionim affeetibuir, «€ tttift'MnUtan 
Mariam banc veneremnr ; quia sic est Yolontaa c;}ii9, qui totnm noil hl^berd Vi^tilt 
ner Mariam.— ^^rm. d€ A^fueed, 



ask for any grace, to recommend oursdyes to Mary, and to 
be assured that we shall receive it by her means ;^ for he 
says, if thott dost not deserve the favour from €Jod, 
IM&ry, who will ask it for thee, will deserve to receive it; 
'because thou wast unworthy of the gift, it was bestowed 
on Mary, that through her thou mightest receive all that 
thou hast.' ^ The Saint then advises us to recommend aU 
that we offer to God to the care of Mary, be they good 
works or prayers, if we wish our Lord to accept them. 
* Whatever thou mayest offer to God, be sure to recom- 
mend it to Maiy, in order not to meet with a repulse.' ' 


The history of^ Theophilus, written by Eutychian, patri- 
arch of Constantinople, and who was an eye-witness of 
the fact he relates, is well known. It is attested by Saint 
Peter Damian, Saint Bernard, Saint Bonaventure, Saint 
Antoninus, and by others quoted by Father Crasset. 
Theophilus was archdeacon of the Church of Adana, a 
city of Cilicia, and he was held in such veneration by the 
people that they wished to have him for their bishop, but 
he, out of humility, refused the dignity. It happened 
that evil-disposed persons accused him falsely of some 
crime, and for which he was deposed from his arch- 
deaconry. He took this so much to heart, that, blinded 
by passion, he went to consult a Jewish magician, who 
made him consult Satan, that he might help him in 
his misfortune. The devil told him that if he desired 
to be helped by him, he must renounce Jesus and his 
Mother Mary, and consign him the act of renunciation, 
written in his own hand. Theophilus immediately com« 
pMed with the demand. The next day the bishop having 

> Quscranras gratiam, et per Mariam qnseramiu.— tS«rM. de Aqtuti. 

' Quia indignuB eras, cui donaretor, d^tum est Mariee, ut per iUam acciperei 
qnioaaid liabena.— -JEtrm. iii, tt» Fm. Nat. Dom. 

* Modieam istad quod offerre acndeias, Kratiaaiinis illis et omni acceptioae 
fJigBTwiimft MaiisB mambaa offezendum traaere coia, si non via sustinere re- 
pUMiik — Strm, de A^mtd, 


discovered that he had been deceived, asked the archi- 
deacon's pardon, and restored him to office. No sooner 
was this accomplished than his conscience was torn with 
remorse, and he could do nothing but weep. What could 
he do ? He went to a church, and there casting himsdf, 
all in tears, at the feet of an image of Mary, he thua. 
addressed her : * O Mother of God, I will not despair, as 
long as I can have access to thee, who art so compassionate, 
and hast the power to hdp me.' He remained thus weeping 
and praying to our Blessed Lady for forty days — when, lo ! 
one night the Mother of mercy appeared to him, and said : 
' O Theophilus, what hast thou done? Thou hast renounced 
my friendship, and that of my Son. and for whom ? For 
His and my enemy.' *0 Lady,' answered Theophilus, 
* thou must pardon me, and obtain my forgiveness from 
thy Son.' Mary seeing his confidence, replied, ' Be of 
good heart, I will intercede for thee with God.' Theo- 
philus, encouraged by these consoling words, redoubled 
his tears, mortifications, and prayers, and never left the 
image* At length Mary again appeared to him, and with 
a cheerful countenance said: ' Theophilus, be of good heart, 
I have presented thy tears and prayers to God ; He has 
accepted them, and has already pardoned thee, but from 
this day forward be grateful to him and faithful.' * But, 
Lady,' replied Theophilus ; * that is not yet enough to 
satisfy me entirely, the enemy still possesses that impious 
writing in which I renounced thee and thy Son. Thou 
canst oblige him to surrender it.' Three days afterwards 
Theophilus awoke in the night, a^d found the writing on 
his breast. On the following day he went to the church 
where the bishop was, and, in presence of an immense 
4X)ncourse of people cast himself at his feet, and with 
bitter tears related all that had taken place, and delivered 
into his hands the infamous writing; the bishop com- 
mitted it to the flames in the presence of the whole 
people, who did nothing but weep for joy, and praise the 
goodness of God, and the mercy of Mary shown towards 
this poor sinner. But he, returning to the church of our 


Blessed Lady, remained there for three days and then 
expired, his heart filled with joy, and returning thanks to 
Jesus and to His most holy Mother. 


O Queen and Mother of mercy, who dispensest graces 
to all who have recourse to thee, with so much liberality, 
because thou art a Queen, and with so much love, because 
thou art our most loving Mother ; to thee do I, who am 
so devoid of merit and virtue, and so loaded with debts 
to the Divine justice, recommend myself this day. O 
Mary, thou boldest the keys of all the Divine mercies ) 
forget not my miseries, and leave me not in my poverty. 
Thou art so liberal with all, and givest more than thou art 
asked for, be thus liberal with me. O Lady, protect 
me ; this is all that I ask of thee. If thou protectest me» 
I fear nothing. I fear not the evil spirits ; for thou art 
more powerful than all of them. I fear not my sins ; for 
thou by due word canst obtain their fall pardon from 
God. And if I have thy favour, I do not even fear aa 
angry God ; for a single prayer of thine will appease Him. 
In fine, if thou protectest me, I hope all; for thou art all- 
powerfiil. O Mother of mercy, I know that thou takest 
pleasure, and dost gloiy in helping the most miserable; 
and, provided they are not obstinate, that thou eanst help 
them. I am a sinner, but am not obstinate ; I deaive to 
change my life. Thou canst then help tne ; help me 
and save me. I now place myself entirely in thy hands* 
Tell me what I must do in order to please Gbd, and I ana 
ready for aU, and hope to do all with thy help, O Mary- 
Mary, my Mother, my light, my consolation, my leftige 
my hope. Amen, amen, amen. 

chafer; Ti,,, 

• I I' " /f //In 'Hij 

.,...>■■'»• • • ■ .•'.:.,.• ■!, Jii-: .Kt"^ 'iMjl 

Section I. — Mary is an Advocate tcKo'isaoteto 

save alL 

^O gr^t id 4;l]te atltliOrity thai mothers pobs«s^ ovei< tM^ 
c' sondy that ev6& tf they are mo&ai%hs, and hft«^abeokil)^ 
dcyimittioti over every person in their kingdom, yie^ n^i^ 
^aii' Mothers Become the subjects of their sons. Ii is iten^ 
(^ JeMA now in heaven sits at the right hdUd ttf th« 
V&^ti that is, as Saint Thomas explains it, even ui umi'f 
4n' actxmnt of the hypostatioal union with the Persob>c^ 
the DilHne Word. He has supreme dominion over all, and 
also over Mary ; it will nevertheless be alwi^s troi^ that, 
to a l^e, when He was living in this worid, fkf waA 
pteas^ to humble himself and to be subject to MiBrv,iai'M 
are told by St. Luke : "And he was subject* to mim^f^^ 
And dtill more, says Saint Ambrose, Jesus dn^. ha^to^ 
deighed to make Mary His MolJier ; inasmuch as h^ was 
her Son, He was truly obliged to obey her« And J»r <Mi 
reason, says' Eichard of Saint Lawrence, ' of other SaMs 
w^' say, IMtUiey are with God; but of ifary akDM c$nit 
be said, that she was so far favotired as to be, not^onljf ^ 
hers^ submii^vB to the wUl of Gk)d, but -even that God 
wwrsubjeei to her wiH.'^ And wherea% of all other Vi^^s, 
iremiarks the same author, we must say that ** th^y foffiatig 
Ite'Liafeb whithersoever He goeth,"^ of the Biess6d 

V; * CUta eumv'<2^ ommus cseteris Sanctis dicdttrr et magnma sft;, eift 'essre/tipt 
tWAl&<). .' . , ;1ff(^ TUajus aUqtiid ceteris hominibtis sanqtis sortfta eST- tfi nsga^ 
Idliiiti i^a snt^der^m' vbluntatf t>otnnu, scd etiam DomimiB tdhmtuttibiiitui^ 
Ke Mu4. r. lib. i, cap. v. ^\, ^'1 "-/^ 
^' *''Sfeftt«mtitt fl^ttSi Qiidcwn^ue tY\t.~Jpoc ^iv 4 ''" " 

0, GRAClOta ABVOCA^TB. 145 

Virgin Mary we can say thai the Lamb followed her, having 
become subject to her.' ^ 

And here we say, tiiat although Mary, now in heaven, 
can no longer comi]|aBd her So^, ivejee^heless her prayers 
are always the prayers ot a 'Mother, 'and, consequently, 
most powerful to obtain whatever she asks. * Mary,^ says 
Saint Bonaventufe, *hd3 this ghat privilege, that, with 
her Son, she above all the saints is most powerful to obtain 
whatever she wills.' ^ And why ? Precisely for the reason 
on w^ctk we have already touched; and which we shall later 
on again examine at greater length,— because they are the 
prayers of a Mother. And therefore, says Saint Peter 
J>«iiiauy>the.£l^s8edi Yirgin-can do whiter she pk&si^ 
bg^iftheafen and on earth. She is aMe to raise even 
th«we who ais in despair to confidence ; and he addresses 
Im^. in these worcU : *A11 power is given to thee in heaven 
«I$L on leftrth, and noUung is impossible to thee, who cfwst 
nitAd- tho96 who are in despair to the hope of salvation/ ^ 
Aivi V»m he tiddsi that ' when the Mother goes to seek a 
fciTQ^'l^rus from Jesus Chii^ (whom the Saint ealls the 
gtidiea altar of mercy, at which sinners obtain pardon), her 
SkuiL eiiteeaia her prayers so greatly, and is so desirous to 
lalkij^ itxi that when she prays it seems as if she rather com- 
uniidi^ tban prayed, and was rather a Queen than a hand- 
vntii^*^ .Je8«s is pleased thus to honour His belqvedMother, 
wjip hi^iioiiyed Him so miHsh during her Kfe, by immediately 
gMMiting eSUk that she aaks or desires. This is beautifully 
afWhrnrifidf 1^ Saint Ghamanus, who, addressing our Blessed 
lAijf> M^r^ ' TbftvL art ibe Mothev of God> and aI^>oweIful 
to Baxfi wsDexs, and with God thou needest no other 
]J9O0ni))afa$ndation ; for thou art the Mother of true life.' \i 

^ Mstk nfctdi (VbgikB Maria) potest Mcore aidqaod agjana fBfaebvtnr «|i« 
anoeniiAiw int iiiidfi.---£«c. ii. *'l>e8ceiidit cnm eis. et venit Naaareth, et enit 
iObaftnt imt.*''-i>» £mci<. r. lib. i. cap. 5. 
>, hJQn^ iiirileonin est quod wsa mm opnilxiifl Sanctis Sfa4 l^ivsa^ P^Ml^ 

* Bata est tSbi onmis potestas in eoelo et in tecra ... nil tibi imni8flHl%jni. 
MA^.oit. d^q^qcatos. in 8|iem beatitudinis itetevare.— $enn. \iejfai. J7' Tvy- 

* AxpUSA eu&a ant^imud ourenm'liunuuue reconcifiationis altare. non soom 
mM^fsjljp^^ : Ppt^ina, non ancilla . . .Nam et FiUoa nibil n^g^aaj. bonprav 

igitw BoxilipuQ tnom pollet, O Vix]SQ» ad salntem cous^cd^hild, 



^ At the command of Maiy all obey, even God/ Saii^ 
Bemardine fears not to utter this sentence, meaning, indeed, 
to saj that God grants the prayers of !Mary as if they were 
commands.^ And hence Saint Ansehn, addressing Maiy^ 
says, ' Our Lord, O most holy Virgin, has exalted ibee ip 
such a degree, that, by His favour, all things that are 
possible to him should be possible to thee/ ^ ' For ihy 
protection is omnipotent, O Mary,' says Cosmas of Jeru- 
salem. ^ ' Yes, Mary is omnipotent,' repeats Eich»:d. of 
Saint Lawrence ; * for the Queen, by every law, eo|}q}'s the 
same privileges as the King.' ' And as,' he adds, ' the 
power of the Son and that of the Mother is the same, » 
Mother is made omnipotent by an omnipotent Son.'^ 
* And thus,' says Saint Antoninus, ' God ha^ placed the 
whole Church, not only under the patronage, but ev^ 
under the dominion of Mary.'^ 

Since the Mother then should have the same power a9 
the Son, rightly has Jesus, who is omnipotent, made Mary 
also omnipotent ; though, of course, it is always true that, 
where the Son is Omnipotent by nature, the Mother if 
only so by grace. But that she is so, is evident horn, ikfi 
fact, that whatever the Mother asks for, the Son neyer 
denies her -, and this was revealed to Saint Bridget,^ who 
one day heard Jesus talking with Mary, and thus addres9 
her : ' Ask of me what thou wilt, for no petition of tbine 
can be void.' As if he had said. My Mother, thou koowe^i 
how much I love thee ; therefore, ask all that thou wilt of 
me, for it is not possible that I should xefuse thee anything* 

flpc a|yiiA IMOBi coDuneiiAititiia 4ltcrim ci^jHspMBii iiktigct ope : Tvl cbSsd. Wfttk 
m vena vike Mater.— /» Dorm. B. V. Orat. ii 

1 Imperio Virginis omnia fanralantnr,; et Dcus.— Serm. dc Kat. B, M. V. 
flap. ri. 

* Te Bomina . . . plus et omnipotens Dens, sic exaltavit, et omnia tibi aecnm pas« 
«Mia esse donam~lfe Steet Viro. cap. m. 

* Omnipotens auxilimn tunm. — ^Hymn. ti, iti Jk^. ad Jkharam. 

* Eisdem privilegiis secundum leges gandcnt Bex et Begina. Cum a«teai 
esAem ait potestas et communis, Matris et Filii, qusab omnipotenle FiUo omoi-' 
potens est effecta. — lib. iv, dt Laud. Firg. can. 29. 

* Et sectmflnm hoc tantnm ftdt menttim yvrjpnia, nt Ecclesia sit ' sub pedibaa 
^va,* sub protectione ; unde ipsa ait Ecdesiastici xxiv : " In Hierusalem ppteato 
mea" id est Ecclesia.— Cap. xx Ik Grot. Priv. B. Maria. 

* Pete ervo quod tiq, non enim inanis potest esse cbaritas et petitio tuo,— -JS^* 
Ub. VI, cap. 23, 


A^d the icason thfet He * gave for this was beatitiful : 
* Because ' thOu never didst deny me anything on earth, 
I Will deny thee nothing in heaven.* ^ My Mother, when 
thioti wi^ in the world thon never didst refuse to do any- 
thiiig for the love of me, and, now that I am in heaven, it 
lis right that I should deny thee nothing that thou askest. 
Mary, then, is called omnipotent in the sense in which it 
can be understood of a creature who is incapable of a 
Divine attribute. She is omnipotent, because by her 
prayers dhe obtains whatever she wills. 

With good reason then, O great advocate, does Saint 
Bernard say, • Thou wiliest, and all things are done.*^ And 
Saint Anselm, * Whatever thou, O Virgin, wiliest, can never 
bfe otherwise than accomplished.' ^ Thou wiliest, and all 
is dorie. If thou art pleased to raise a sinner from the 
lowest abyss of misery to the highest degree of sanctity, 
thon canst do it. Blessed Albert the Great, on this sub- 
ject, makes Mary say : * I have to be asked that I may 
will ; for, if I will a thing, it is necessarily done.* * And 
thus Saint Peter Bamian, reilecting on the great power of 
Mary; and begging her to take compassion on us, addresses 
hci*, saying : ' O, let thy nature move thee, let thy power 
mote thee ; for the more thou art powerful, the greater 
should thy mercy be.'^ O Mary, our own beloved ad- 
TCK^te, since thou hast so compassionate a heart, that 
th6u canst not even see the wretched without being moved 
to pity ; and since, at the same time, thou hast so great 
powet with (^od that thou canst save aU whom thou dost 
pvotoet ; disdain not to undertake the cause of us pooir 
miserable creatures who place aU our hope in th6e. Tf 
our prayers cannot move thee, at least let thine own benign 
heart do so ; or, at least, let thy power do so, since God 

1 Quia tn niihi nihil segaati in terra, ideo ego iibl nihil negabo in coelo.— ^^. 
Id). 1 'c^. 24> 

» VeKa tu, et omnia fient.t 

s VeUs salutcm nostram, et vere neqoaquam salTi esse non poterimiu.— i^^rc. 
Virff. cap. xii. 

« AogandaBUtnntveliin] quia, slvolo, necesse est fleri.^^i?. P. Pep*, Oraivd. 

•■^Ifoveat te natnra, potentia moveac ; quia qnanto potentior, tanto miseri- 
cordior esse debebis. — Serm. i, de Nat. B. Vtrg, 


]u» enriidied thee with suck gteai power, in ondae that tte 
licber thou art in power to help ns, the more merdfol 
thou majest be in the will to assist os. But Saint Bemud 
reassures us on this point, for he says that Mary is as 
inunensdy rieh in mercy as she is in power; and that» as 
her charity is most powerful, so also it is most demcat 
and compassionate, and its effects continiially prove it to 
be so. He thua expresses himself: ' The most paw^!6il 
and merciful charity of the Mother of God abounds in 
tender compassion, and in effectual succour ; it ia e^uaUy 
rich in both.' ^ 

From the time that Maiy came into the world her oidy 
thought, after seeking the glory of God« was to sueooar 
the miserable. And even then she eiyoyed the pnyilege 
of obtaining whatever she asked. This we know from 
what occurred at the mairiage feast of Cana, in Galilee ; 
when the wine failed, the most Blessed Virgin, being movtfd 
to compassion at the sight of the affliction and shame of 
the bride and bridegroom, asked her Son to relieve it by 
a mirade, telling Him "that they had no wine." Jeaas 
answered : '* Womui, what is that to thee and me ? my 
hour is not yet come." ^ And here remark, that although 
our Lord seemed to refuse His JViother the favour she asked, 
and said, what is it to thee, woman, and to me, if the 
wine has fedled ? This is not the time for me to work a 
miracle ; the time will be when I begin to preadi, and 
when miracles will be required to confirm my doctrines. 
And yet, Mary, as if the favour had already beisn gnmied, 
desired those in attendance to fill the jars with water, ioT 
.they would be immediately satisfied. And so it was ; for 
Jesus, to content his Mother, changed the water into the 
best wine. But how was this ? As the time for working 
miracles, was that of the public life of our Lord, how could 
it be, that, contrary to the Divine decrees, this miracle 
was worked ? No, in this there was nothing contrary to 

1 Poteutisihn^ et piiiwiiua Charitaa Matris Dei et affectu oommitiendi et tab- 
venfendi abnndat eifectu : eeaue locuplea in ntroqne. — Serm. ix, ae Jssnmp. 

* Vinum non liabent. £t uicct ei Jesw : quid mihi t\ tibi est mvlier t Qondtim 
venit liora nieo. — Joan, ii, 3, 4. 

I ^l&ke^^di)bWli#'bf Odd'; fdp ihaa^, gen^i^ ^ling/^e 

i^dtelP^ir'^ti^acleb -was not come/ ye(r, Bsm AH' ct^rtifly 

1^6sSd4yi'deteiHtaned by imol&er de<?i^e "^^^ n<)t6iiig't&fit 

=«^ ij^l^d s6Mt eTep be tefb^ fb th6 DiVine Mot3iH>. 

""OlbMl^h^i^lbie^, Mki^^w)K>we]}ki]6W}!erpntitege;ttR%6v^^^ 

*4gBiit9to seemed to have Tefhsed' b^ tile favotii', ^et tmd 

>fh^'4& fiH ^ie jtirs with water, as iF li^ reqf^e^t Ii«id 

^Ab^djf been' gni^ted. Thttt is the sense in w'hich 8«tint 

'iJc^idM^sdStomtmde^toodif; for,etplainingtbo9e#oMs 

'^mt Ixjtd, '''Woman, w^t is^it 1o thee «m^ me?** 'he 

says, * That thongh Jesns answered thns, yet, in liohonr 

'>tf Hi# MtJttier, lie Obeyed her wish.' i This is Confirmed 

it^'IgyntrrbMhi^, #h6 says, that by the words, "'My hoiir 

♦fc«<*'yet'wiAe,^' Jesn^ Christ itrtended4» show, that hid 

^1^1^ ri^iliest atite frcm any ^ther He would ndt then hate 

leeklft^jed with it ; but, b<ecanse it was addressed to Hihi 

by Hi* Mother, He cottW not refnse it.^ Stiint Cyril aiid 

(8ftin<^ iJet^d^e, quoted ty Barradus, say 1*e same thin^. 

Alsb, Oandavensis, on the above passage of Saint Johii, 

-^Bays, 'thai to honour His Mother, our Lord antwSipated 

'tke lAine 4(fr woridng miracles/ 

'i'-i»'lii te^; it is toertain thtit no creature can obtain so inany 
'tecwnesi-iW Us as this tender advocate, who is thiis ho- 
'i6Tired''by Grod, not only as His beloved handmaid, but 
•iaiew «sp His -true Mother. = And this, William of Pafifis says, 
'^ttkdrljfitdiiig'her, •No creatare can obtain so nrtiiy and *ueh 
«*«ftt-ftfvooife ^ Ihott obtainest for poor sinners, and'thii's, 
'Ml^ft)>ot ^dO«!bt, Ood honours thee- not only as A h^mdmafd, 
'^t air His ntosft true Mother.' ^ Mary has otdy tO f^dk, 
i^dli&r Son exe<^tes all. Our Lord oOHvei^ing witRiSe 
spouse in the sacred Canticles, that is Mary, says, 'Thou 
that dwellest in the gardens, the friends hearken j make 

,•1, \ .■ • • : 

1 CJum ... id respondisset quod volebat Mate; efFecit. — ffom. in Jo^. 
* Vtt ilia verba, Aondinn vemt hora mea, ostendit sc dilattrnmi fttisae ttiiracto- 
. Jfu^f^i alinA fo^sei ; quia tasutn rogabat Mater, fecit. <S^. T^$m, sfvif. JO^ms. 
CtUtus Jtfariani : auctore R. T. Henr. de Cerf. pag. 129.t 
X . * ]^alj;» . . . creatttra» et tot, et tanta, et taKa ijapetrare posset apud baietUctnm 
UliUm. niXmi nUseriS;, quanta tu apud ipsum impetras eiadem. In quo procujdubio 
.^J^lpiuuaiuanc^Uansuamqaie mdubitanter es, sed tRmq\ia?(i Mt»treia yerissi- 
'inaiii te bonorat. — 1)9 Shet. J>iv. eap. xviii. , , ; 

13 § 


me heafitky Toice."^ The samts am theMends^ and i 
iheji wfaeii they seek a faronir for their clients^ waitifiar' 
thm Qjaeen to ask aad okiam it ; for, as we said^' 
fifth dbapter, * No grace is granted otherwise thaii>:&tctka/ 
prayer of Mary.' And how does Mary obtain favoais 9. . 
She has only to let her voice be heavdr-^^'xBake /me- hear 
tky voioe." She has only to speak, and her Son /jminftcfr ' 
ately grants her psayer. Listen to the Abbot WiUiameS'^ - 
plainingy in this^ense, the above text. In it he introdacea 
the Son -addressing Mary : ^Thou wIh) dwellest inj<the 
bearenfy gardens, intercede with confidence fot twknnsoH 
ever thou wilt ; for it is not p<»ssible that I should so fiur 
forget that I aan thy Son as to deny enything <to thcmiy 
Mother. Only let tky vmce be heard, for to be heanok by 
a Son is. to be obeyed.'^ The Abbot Giodfridus saiyB»> 
' That although Mary obtains favoars by addng, yet she 
asks witk a certain maternal authority^ and, ihstBiose, we 
onght to feel oenident that she obtdns all 4ie desires and 
asks for ns.' * 

Valerius Maximus relates that when Corielanas was 
besieging Home the prayers of liis friends and all the 
dtizens were insufiicient to make him desist ; but as soon 
as he beheld kis mother Yeturia imploring him, he coidd 
no longer refuse, and immediately raised the siegeu But; 
the prayers of Mary with Jesus are as mudi more powerM 
than those of Yeturia, as the love and gratitude of this' 
Son for His most dear Mother are greater. Fothert Justin 
Micoviensis says, ' that a single sigh of the most.Bl^wed 
Maiy can do more than the united sufi^ges of all the 
saints/^ And this was acknowledged by the devil hknself 

1 (^nsehabitasin hortis, amici auscultant : fac me audire vocem taam.—CkMl. 
viii, 18. 

^ Qiue baliitas in hortia coelestibiu, Mucialiter pro qnibus voliiens iniercftle ; 
non enim potsum me obliTiaci fiUum tuiun, ut matn quidpiamdeaBegaDdttiii pat«m« 
T»Dium iu voceiu proferaa, quia a Filio audiri, exaudin jest.t 

< Uonorabilis Virgo Maria si ilium ex eo quod Dew et Doiuinna est, «xom» 
nicrito creditur,ex eo tamenquod homo est,et natus ex ea, quasi quodamMttris 
iimperio, apud ipsum impetrare quicquid voluerit pia lide nou dubitatur/THSem< 
viii, deB.V.M, . « 

* Unum Beatas Virginis suspirium plus potest apud JE'iUum> q\W2» Qpniw^ 
Sanctorum siiuiU 8ufrng:ium.--/;i IH. Jt. V. V4frbo Virg.ftot^ . . . ■ / 

0, 0AA0H)U8 XDVOCK'm. 161 [ 

ta'8aintiBoiiiiiiib;wfao, Ad it is related bj.Bothetf-FaeiduQKr. 
cbefliyrebiig-^djiiim to speak by the mouth of st padsesiaed' 
porion^ and^'he vsaid, -^ That a shi^k sigh- from Maiy was: : 
wQ^hnnare before <^A.ihmith» mntsd sxxSt^gQS o£ ^ the 
saoBbBi' f a' •< •>' '■ I ■.! ■-.••. 

'SaLotiAiiticHasntis 9iP<|rsj^^that•tile^ prayers of the Bkssed - 
Viiigiit, 'being tiie' prayers of a Mother, have ia 'themi 
soBietiiiiig 6t' a 'command, sa that it ia drnpossiUcthat 
she- 'Slioald; not obtain what she '■ asks.' ^ > Saiiit fiesmaimS' 
encbuiagiiig sinnenT, who' recommend th«nselT«8 iio-tlaA 
adnFoinlief'tht[6 adidxiBsses her:- 'As thonhastv OMary^ith^ 
aufclioFit^ of tt Mother trith God, thou obiaineab pardon -for 
the most enoriHous sinnei^; sinoelhatLordih aU: things 
aeki^Ofwledges thee as His true and spotksa Mothor^ IS^ 
eamiet do otheirwise than grant what thctn askeat.' ^ lAnd 
soiit Miras that Saint Bridget heard the' saints in heta^^i 
addressing ottr Btessed Lady, ' O most Blessed Qaetn, whuti 
is) ihere that thou canst not do P Thou liast only to Trill^ 
and it is accomplished.' ^ And this corresponds with that 
cdebnited saying, * That which God caa do by His? power 
tiat 6anst thou do by prayer, O sacred Vir^.' * ' Andj 
perohsoice/ says an ancient and pious writer^ 'it is un- 
worthy of the benignity of that Lord to be thus jealousf of 
the" honour of His Mother, who deolaares thlit He came 
into the world, not to break but to observe the law; but 
this- law commands us to " honour our parents/^ ^ ' • 

. Saint Gtet^ge, Archbishop of Nicomedia, says, that 
Jesus Christ, even as it were to satisfy an obl^ation undeY 
which He placed Himself towards his Mother, when sli^ 
(Xmseated to give Him His human nature, grants aH ah& 

^ Orotio qus eni nobiMssimns modus orandi, turn quia habebat ratlonem- jus- 
sionis et imperii, tumquia inipossibile erat earn noa exaudiri. — P. iv. tit. 15, c. 17/ 

■Ta veto materna qua noUes ajjud Deura auctoritate, ad quantuuivW enormia 
kpeift -pttcdtA, siTjperabunaantem impetraa veniam : Neque enim un^am datnr te' 
non exauditam dmiitti, cai per omnia, et propter omnia,, et in onuubuj, ut yetm 
et intemeratee Matri auie obsequitur Deus. — in JOorm. S. V. Orat. ii. 

^'ODotnina benedicta . . . quid est qilod non poteris? Quod eniin tu vis, lioft 
£MtvAi«st.— Xtn^.lib. iv; cap. 74. 

* Quod Deus imperio, tu prece Virgo potes. ; . 

* AttmqilStt nonpei^tinetatt'benignitatera Doniim, Matris servar^i hbntweni^ (^ui^ 
legem non solvere venerJVt aed odimplete? txh. de 4ssimp, S, f. tuL Op. S.Aiupi^, 

168 O, GaAOlOUft A1>V0CAT15. 

\^]o^; 'tlifc Son aa If paying a debt grants 'ai-'thyt)^- 
tiotts/ ^ And on this the holy martyr' SjCiot 1l£dlibi9h!ks 
exclaims: *Ilejoice, rejoicse, O Maty, for thdn haat''ili«t 
Son thy debtor, who gives to all and receives from none. 
We are all God's debtors, for* afl that we possess, for all 
is His gift ; but God has been pleased to become thy 
debtor in taldng flesh from thee and becoming mah.** And 
therefore another ancient writer says, * that Maty havinfg 
merited to give ficsh to the Divine Word, and thus supply 
the price of our Bedemption, that we might be delivered 
frbm etema! death ; therefore is' she more poWerftii thitn 
all others to help ns to gain eternal life.'^ Saitit Tlied- 
philns. Bishop of Alexandnia, in the time of Saint Jerome, 
left in writing the following words : * The prayers of Hfe 
Mbther are a pleasure to the Son, because He desires' tb 
gramt aU that^ is granted on her account, and thus recom- 
pense her for the favour she did Him in giving Him His 
body.' Saint John Damascen, addressing the Blessed 
Virgin- says, * Thou, O Mary, being Mother of the most 
High God canst save all by thy prayers, which are in- 
creased in value by thy maternal authority.' ^ 

Let us conclude with Saint Bonaventure, who, pon- 
sidering the great benefit conferred on us by ouf Lord in 
giving us Mary for our advocate, thtis addresses her : * O 
truly immense and admirable goodness of our God, which 
has been pleased to grant thee, O sovereign Mother, to us 
miserable sinners for our advocate, in order that thou',' by 
thy powerfal Intercession, mayest obtain all that thou 
pleasest for us.' * * O wonderfid mercy of our God !* cto- 
tinned the same Saint, *who, in order that we riiight not 

1 Ea^ue tanquam Filius exaltans, poatulata ceu debitor implet. — Or. dclttg,r€ssn 

* £n^,,euge, Dei Mater anciUaqne. £«ce is qiii onmiian areHitor est; debitor 
tit. Omiies namqtie Deo debemus, tibique lUe Debitor est. — Ik Simeotte et Anna. 

^ Ifeqttd eniin. aiibium c{iue meruit pro Obetandis proferre toretitim, jksse pMs 
Sanctis omnibtis, liberatis impendere suffragium. — Serm. ae Sanctis int. op. 
S.. Auaustini. Serm. de Asmmp. B. M. 

t rotes quldem omnes saiwre, nt Dei altissimi M<iter, preffl)tis Mateina 
nuctoritote pollentibns. — Ex. M^i. i, Jan, Ode 4.t 

* O certe Dei nostri mira benigtritaa, qui stds rets te Dortinam tribuit advoicii- 
tmn, -at a Klio tuo inter 'nos et fpsum jticHcent conlrtitiifii, qnodToltteris'Tplfo 
nobis valeaa impetrare !— 7« Sah. "Reg. ' ' •' • 


Ay oa aceoimt of the sentenoe that ndglit h& pronounced 
against us, has giveaus His own Mother and the patroBMs 
of gmces, to be our advocate.' ^ 


Pather Bazzi, of the Camaldokse order, relates, that a 
young man of the name of John, on the death of his father, 
was sent by his mother to the court of a prince. His 
mother, who had a tender devotion towards Maiy, before 
bidding him farewell, made him promise that he would 
eveiy day say the * Hail, Maiy,' adding at the end of it 
these words ; ' O most Blessed Virgin, help me at the 
hour of my death.' After having been at court for a short 
time» he became so dissolute, that his master was obliged 
to dismiss him. No longer knowing how to obtain a 
Eving, in despair he became a highway robber and mur- 
derer; but during tins time even,, he never neglected to 
recommend himsdf to our Blessed Lady, according to 
his promise. At length he was taken and condemned to 
death. lYhen in prison, and the day before his death, 
reflecting on his own shame, on the grief of his mother, 
and on the death he was about to endure, he wept bitterly; 
and thus the devil, seeing him disconsolate and filled with 
melancholy thoughts, appeared to him under the form of a 
handsome youth, and told him that he would deliver him 
from prison and death, if only he would obey him. The 
culprk said he was ready to do all he might ask. The 
youth then told him that he was the devil come to aid 
him. In the first place he required that he should deny 
Jesus Christ and the most holy sacraments. To this he 
consented. He then demanded that he should renounce 
the Blessed Virgin Mary and her protection. *Ah, that I 
will never do,' answered the young man; and raising his 

1 O mirabilis erga nos raiscriconlia Dei nostii, qui ne alios Ingeremtis pro 
Bcntentia non solnm di^atns est oomnranicare se nobis in ^adicem, nt csset 
Dens ei Homo Jesiu Cfanstiu, a quo debet sententia pronmlgan : ted roliiit ipse 
/ma viscent inisencordise Ms^n'iu suam Doniinaiu gratife» nostram iustitiicrc 
advocatiiin. — Xh ^Jr. Br^. 


heart to her, he lepealed his aocustomed pmyer ; ' O, 
Blessed Virgin, help me at the hoar of my death.' At these 
words the devil disappeared. The young man was imme- 
diately filled with the most bitter grief for the crime he 
had committed in denyii^ Jesos Ghhst ; but having re- 
course to the most Blessed Virgin, she obtained him tme 
sorrow for all his sins, and he confessed th^n with great 
sighs and contrition. On leaving the jail to go to the 
scaffold, he passed on the road a statue of Marjj and 
saluted it with his ordinary prayer: 'O, most Blessed 
Virgin, help me at the hour of my death ;' and the statne 
returned his salutation in the presence of all, by bowing 
its head. Moyed with tenderness, he begged leave to 
kiss the feet of the statue. The guard refused, but at 
length consented, on account of the acclamations of the 
people. The youth stooped to kiss the feet, when Mary 
extended her arm, took him by the hand, and held him so 
tight that it was impossible to remove him. At the sight 
of such a prodigy, all began to cry out Mercy, pardon, 
forgiveness, and it was granted. The young man returned 
to his own country, and led a most exemplary life, and 
always filled with the most tender affection for Mary, 
who had delivered him from both temporal and eternal 


I will address thee, O great Mother of God, in the 
words of Saint Bernard : * Speak, O Lady, for thy Son 
heareth thee ; and whatever thou askest thou wilt obtain.* 
Speak, speak then, O Maiy, our advocate, in favour of us 
poor miserable creatures. Eemember that it was also for 
OUT good that thou didst receive such great power and so 
high a dignity. A God was pleased to become thy 
ddbtor, by taking humanity of thee, in order that thou 
mightest at will dispense the riches of Divine mercy to 
sinners. We are thy servants, devoted in a special manner 

i LMtiere Domina, quia audit FUiua tuusi et qusecumque peticris impetiabif, 
•^Ad. B. V. M. depr. 



to thee; and I am. one of these, I tfust, in even a higher 
degiee. We ^iv in living under Ihy protection. Since 
thou does! good to all, even to those who neither know nor 
honour thee» nay tncNre, to those who ontragie and hlas- 
phratte thee, how much more may we not hope from thy 
beoigpity, which seeks out the wretched in order to relieve 
ti^m? We who honour, love, and confide in thee ? We 
ue great »nners, but God has enriched thee with com- 
poaaion and power far exceeding our iniquities. Thou 
eaast, and hast, the will to save us ; and the greater is our 
unworthiness, the greater shall be our hope m ord^ to glorify 
thee the more in heaven, when, by thy intercession we get 
there* O, Mother of mercy, we present thee our souls, once 
deansed and r^idored beautiful in the blood of Jesus Christ, 
hot alas ! since that time, defiled by sin. To thee do we pre- 
sent them; do thou purify them. Obtain for us true 
conversion ; obtain for us ihe love oi God, perseverance, 
heaven. We ask thee for much — ^but what is it — periiaps 
thou canst not obtain all ? It is perhaps too much for the 
love God bears thee? Ah, no! for thou hast only to 
<^ie& thy lips and ask thy Divine Son; He will deny thee 
nothing. Bray, then, pray, O Mary, for us ; pray, thou 
wilt certabdy obtain all: and we shall with the same cer- 
tainty obtain the kingdom of heaven. 

SecTIOX II. — Marif is 90 tender an Advocate, thai she does 
not refuse to defend the came even of the most miserable. 

Se many are the reasons that we have £or loving this, 
our most loving Queen, that if Maty was praised through- 
out the woiid; if, in eveiy sermon, Mary alone was spoken 
of ; if all men gave their lives for Maiy, still all would be 
libtie^ m comparison with the homage and gratitude that 
we owe her in return £(»rthe tender love she bears to men, 
and even to the most miserable sinners, who preserve the 
slightest spark of devotion for her. Blessed Baymond 
Jwdano, who, out of humility, called himself the Idipt, 


uoed to 8ay» * that Mary knows not how to do-pyv^^rwife 
than love those who love her ; a:iid that evien st^ does f^ot 
disdain to sen'C those XFho serve her ; and, in. fayoiir: of 
such a one, shoidd he be a sinner^ she uses all her powf r, 
in order to obtain his forgiveness from her Blessed pon.'*'^ 
And he adds, * that her benignity and mercy are sj^, 
that no one, however enormous his sins may' be, shoi 
fear to cast himself at her feet; for she never can reject 
any one who has recourse to her.*^ *Maiy, as our mop^ 
loving advocate, herself offers the prayers of her servants 
to God, and especially those which are placed in her 
hands ; for as the Son intercedes for us with the Father, 
so does she intercede with the Son, and does not cease to 
make interest with both, for the great affair of. our salva* 
tion, and to obtain for us the graces we ask.' ' With 
good reason then, does Denis, the Carthusian, caD the 
Blessed Virgin * the singular refuge of the lost, the hope 
of the most abandoned, and the advocate of all sinners 
who have recourse to her.' * 

But shoold there, by chance, be a sinner, who, though 
not doubting her power, might doubt the compassion pf 
Mary, fearing, perhaps, that she might be unwilling to 
help him, on account of the greatness of his sins^ le^ him 
take courage from the words of Saint Bonaventure. * Xn/8 
great, the special privilege of Mary is, that she is aD- 
powerful with her Son/ ^ * But,* adds the Saint, * to what 
purpose would Mary have such ^eat power if she care^ 
not for us.' ^ ' No,* he concludes^ ' let us not doubt, ^but 

^ Maria ... (liligit diligentes se; iino sibi sementibiu servit. Ipsa tnper 
boMdicte £yio too voUik poteutfufane reomdliil lerVM et amatmei 4mm.-i^Ik 
ComteMpLB.KmTxoL , 

* Tanta ... est ejus ben^nitas/qnod ira&i fonuidQuduia ttttA earn fiftifedefe ; 
tMil^ne mmntmdM, utnesd^ ab m vgpdAtut.^De Coniempl. JT.r. InPh^. . 

3 Ipsa precea et sacrificia sarvonim suonun, et nuudme quce sibi exhibentyuv 
mnrnseata* in eoupeein Diviate Mi^etUttis-, quia est Mvocata nostra- nud 
Filium, sicut Filius apud Patremj imo annd Patrem et Fflium procurttt tagti&li 
et petitioMs HOstns.-~Jk OonUmpl ». F. in PioL 
. « Siagolare perditonuu zefagium, miserorum spem, advocatam omniufti IttidH^ 
run fkfL se conliunetitiiim.i' ^ ' 

^ Qiande privue^ntt est, qnod ipsa prttomttihtts Ssnctis aptkiTiyetiiii viiW'' 
tissuw nt.'^Spee.M.M. T. lecfc vi - ' fT^W^a 

6 Sed quid tanta Mari® potentia prodesset boWh, « ipBti wM ctt^j^rtt^e^jj^*^ ' 


■^I'dKiC^CS 'Al>V<)fATE: "{j7 

jifc"^l^J,' dy(l\.t:liB',iataays thank'.ourLiM'iln^'iiis 
.Biwie'MotliW foi'it ;' tW, ia proportion as her, pow^' 
witTi Crod exceeds tlifit of ihll the Saints, ,so is ane, in 
the siirac jiruporticii, our most loTinj advocate, and the 
one IV ho is tht must' solicitous for our welfare. ''^ 'And 
wliOj Motlici' uf Mercy,' exelaima Saint Gemianua, iu 
the joy of his htiii-t, ' who, after thy Jesus, is as tenderly 

f"' tous for pur wfilfare as thou art ?'^ 'Who defends us 
^''temptotioiis with which we are afflicted as thou 
ctept us r Who, like thee, undertakes toprotect sini- 
fettihg as' it were in their behalf?" ' ' Therefore," lie 
Hiy patronage, Maiy, is more powerful and loving 
mii'aiij'tlnng of which we can ever form an idea.'* 'For, 
wk'the Blessed Bnymond Joidano, ' whilst all tlie other 
"S^uus can do more for their own clients than for others, 
thfc Wvine Mother, as Queen of all, is the advocate of all, 
find'hns'a care for the salvation of all. '^ 

TSXsxy takes care of all, even of sinners ; indeed she 
slorieain being called, in a special, manner, their advocate, 
jis'dheliersclf declared to the venerable sister, MoryVillani, 
feyin^ : 'Afler the title of Mother of God, I rejoice most 
ia ^hat of advocate of sinners.' Blessed Amadeus says, 
"Itot bur Queen is constantly before the Divine Majesty, 
inteKedingfor us, with her most powerful prayers."^ And, 
ais'in Heaven, ' she well knows oui miseries and wants, she 
^not do otherwise than compassionate us ; and thus, 
^!th the afiection of a mother, moved to tenderness towards 
A^, pitying and benign, she is always endeavouring to help 

Vifj^ jtaoMdcTeaiUt iDBO>triaiaiatiiiBibu...r Quiiiawppli 
•fMUiiigDiitp»;enDt«ibuir— fic^biiaj). r.M, 

■H'Ccetni '. .^.'Bancti jnrc qnoflam pattocinii pro wliI ipeoiili 

intelligeiiiii tos;n±ciwll 

•Unu . , , BwtiHUUB linplari lamlopnecipim vultiiiCandUilu,[Knl Jmttll- 
tUiu, Hmpti inUtpeUui |ini DQliis.—2)t Lavd, Viri/. llom. liii. 


158 O, GftAClOtS ADTOCAtfi. 

and save us.'^ And therefore does Bichard of Saint 
Lawrence encourage each one, however bad he may be, to 
liave recourse with confidence to thia sweet Advocate, bein^ 
assured that he will always find her ready to help him ;" 
* for,' says the Abbot (Godfrey, * Mary is always ready to 
pray for aU.' ^ 

* Oh, with what efficacy and love,' says Saint Ber- 
nard, ' does this good Advocate interest herself in the 
affair of our salvation!' ^ Saint Bonaventure, considering 
the affection and zeal with which Mary intercedes for us 
with the Divine Majesty, in order that our Lord may par* 
don us our sins, help us with His grace, free us from 
dangers, and relieve us in our wants, says, addressing the 
Blessed Virgin, in the words of an ancient writer, * We 
know that we have as it were but one solicitous in Heaven 
for us, and thou art this one, so greatly does thy solici- 
tude for us exceed that of all the Saints.'^ That is, *0 Ladyj 
it is true that all the Saints desire our salvation, and pray 
for us; but the love, the tenderness, that thou showest us iu 
Heaven, in obtaining for us, by thy prayers, so n^any mer- 
cies from God, obliges us to acknowledge that in Heaven 
we have but one Advocate, and that is thyself; and that 
thou alone art truly loving and solicitous for our welfare/ 
Who can ever comprehend the solicitude with which Mary 
constantly stands before God in our behalf! *She is 
never weary of defending us,' ^ says Saint Germanus ; and 
the remark is beautiful, meaning that so great is th^ 
compassion excited in Mary by our misery, and such i^ 
the love that she bears us, that she prays constantly, and 

1 Cnncta nostra videt diBcrunma, nostii^ue clemcus et duIciaDomuia, matemo 
affectu miscretur. — De Laud. V. Horn. viii. 

* Inveniet semper paratam anxiliari.t 

3 £t ipsa quideni pro universo mundo paratissima esset ad precandtUBU^tp^^ 
ffue nrnnduB salvaretur, si precibua ejus ae faceret dignum. — Serm. Fill ie 

B. r. M. 

* Advocatam pwctoisit peregrinatio nostra, qua tanquam Judicis mater, e^ 
mater niisericordiee, suppliciter et etiicaciter salutis nostise aegotia pertractabit.-^ 
Serm. I de Jssump. 

> Te solam, Maria, pro sancta Eccelsia soUicitam pne omnibus Sanctis scimus^ 

2ufe impetras inducias transgressoribus, ut renuntient suis crroribus. — «5fjp^c^ 
i. M. V. lect. vi. 
Non est satietas defensionia eg'us.t 


lelaxes not her efforts in our behalf; that by her prayers 
slie may ^eotuaily defend ns ^m eTil, and obtain for iis 
sufficient graees. * She has never done enough.' 

Truly unfortunate should we poor sinners be had we 
not this great Advocate, who is so powerful and compas- 
sionate, and at the same time, * so prudent and wise, that 
ike Judge, her Son,' says Eichard of Saint Lawrence, 

* cannot condemn the guilty who are defended by her.' ^ 
And therefore Saint John Geometra salutes her, saying, 

* Hail ! O <x)urt, for putting an end to litigation.' ^ For 
all oauses defended by this most wise Advocate are gained. 
For this reason is Mary called, by Saint Bonaventiu'e, 

* the wise Abigail.' This is the woman we read of in the 
seeond Book of Kings, who knew so well how, — by her 
beautiful suppUoatious, to appease King David when he 
was indignant against Nabal; and indeed so far as to 
induce him to bless her, in gratitude for having prevented 
him, by her sweet manners, from avenging himself on 
Nabel with his own hands.* This is exactly what Mary 
constantly does in Heaven, in favour of innumerable sin- 
ners: she knows so well how, by her tender and unctions 
prayers, to appease the Divine justice, that Qt)d himself 
blesses her for it ; and, as it were, thanks her for having 
withheld Him from abandoning and chastising them as 
they deserved* *0n this account it was,' says Saint 
B^ard, ' that the Eternal Father, wishing to show all 
the mercy possible, besides giving us Jesus Christ, our 
principal Advocate- with Him, was pleased also to give ns 
Mary, as our Advocate with Jesus Christ. * There is no 
doubt,' the Saint adds, 'that Jesus Christ is the only 
mediator of justice between men and God ; that, in virtue 
of His own merits and promises. He will and can obtain 
us pardon and the Divine favours; but because men 
acknowledge and fear the Divine Majesty, which is in Him 

^ Tarn ;gruden8 etiam et dlscreta est advocata Maria, quod non potest Filius 
tin^icare m eos, pro qmbtis ipsa aHegat. — DeLaatd. V. lib. ii, cap. 1. 

* Salve jus dirimena jites, ei flmuina linguffi 

Oratonim obdens, oris et artis opus. — Hymno IVin Vlrg. Jkip. 

* Et benedicta tu, q^ee prolubtusti me hodie, ne . . . ulciscerer me manu luea. 
—1 Beg. XXV, 33. 


OS Gtxl, for this reason it was necessaiy to assign 113 another 
xVdvocate, to whom we might have recourse with les9 fear 
and more confidence, and this Advocate is Mary, than whom 
we cannot find one more powerful with His Divine Majesty, 
or one more merciful towards ourselves.' The Saint says, 

* Christ is a faithful and powerful Mediator between God 
and men, but in Him men fear the Majesty of God. A 
Mediator then was needed with the Mediator himself, nor 
could a more fitting one be found than Mary.' ^ * But/ 
continues the same Saint, ' should any one fear to go to 
the feet of this most sweet Advocate, who has nothing in 
her of severity, nothing terrible, but who is all courteous, 
amiable, and benign, he would indeed be offering an 
insult to the tender compassion of Mary.'^ And he adds, 
' Read, and read again, as often as you please, all that is 
said of her in the Gospels, and if you can find any, the 
least trait of severity recorded of her, then fear to approach 
her. But no, this you can never find, and therefore go 
to her with a joyful heart, and she wiU save you by her 

How beautiful is the exclamation put in the mouth of 
a siimer who has recourse to Mary, by William of Paris ! 

* O most glorious Mother of God, I, in the miserable state 
to which I am reduced by my sins, have recourse to thee, 
fidl of confidence, and if thou rejectest me, I remind thee 
that thou art in a way bound to help me, since the whole 
Church of the faithful calls thee and proclaims thee the 
Mother of Mercy.'* "Thou, O Maiy, art that one who, 
from being so dear to God, art always listened to favour- 
ably. Thy great compassion was never wanting to any 
one ; thy most sweet affability never despised any sinner 

1 Fidelis plane et potens mediator Dei et hominnm, liomo Clmstns Jesus, sed 
divinam in eo rererentur homines miqestatem . . . Opus eat enim mediatore ad 
uiediatorem i6tum,.nec alter nobis ntilior quam Maria. — Serm. inSiffn. magn. 

* Quid ad Mariani accedere trepidet humana fragilitas ? Nihil auaterum in 
tK nudl terrible : tota suavis est. — Ih. 

^ Revolve diligentius evangelioe Historite seriem nniversam, et si quid forte 
austeram increpatorium, si quid durum, si quod denique aignumvel tenuis indi^- 
nationis occnrrerit in Maria, de c^tcro suspectam Imbeas et accedere rereans. 

* Adibo te, imo etiam conveniam, gloriosissima Dei Genitrix, quam matrem 
miscricovdia; et reginani pictatis vqcat, in>o clanutat ou\r\\a Eccleai^ Sanctorum. 
— De Uhet. 7>ir. caj). xviii, 


that recommended himself to thee, however great his sins.'^ 
* And what! Perhaps falsely, and for nothing, the w*hole 
Chvrfch^calls thee its Advocate, and the refuge of sinners.' ^ 
'* ^^er, O iny Mother, let my sins prevent thee from M- 
mling the gr^at office of charity which is thine, and by 
which thou art, at the same time, oiu* Advocate and a 
jnediatress of peace between men and God, and who art, 
after thy Son, our only hope, and the secure refuge of the 
.misel^ble.*^ *A11 that thou possessest of grace and glory, 
imd the dimity even of Mother of God, so to speak, thou 
owest to sinners, for it was on their account that the 
Divine Word made thee his Mother.'* * Far be it from 
this Divine Mother, who brought the source itself of tender 
compassion into the world, to think that she should ever 
deny her mercy to any sinner who has recourse to her.'^ 
' Since then, O Maiy, thy office is to be the peace-maker 
between God and men, let thy tender compassion, which 
far ctceeds all mv sins, move thee to succour me/* 

* Be comforted then, O you who fear,' will I say with 
Saint Thomas of Villanova; ' breathe freely and take cou- 
rage, O wretched sinners ; this great Virgin, who is the 
Mother of your God and Judge, is also the Advocate of 
tlie whole human race : fit for this office, for she can do 
what she wills with God ; most wise, for she knows all the 
means of appeasir^^ Him ; universal, for she welcomes all, 
and refuses to defend no one."'' 

' ^ To, ifqum. cqjnsjmtiMitas nnn^iiaoLTepulflBin patitiur. Cigiu misericordia 
BviJli anquam oefuit. C^jus beui^issuna huiuilitas nullum unauam dcprecantciu 
qvantumcamqtiepeceatoreni despexit. — Be Rhet. JHv. cap. xviji. 

* An falso et inaniUr, Tocat ke oamia Ecdeaia sanctoilim odvocatam suam, f.t 
miserorura, refugimn. — lb. 

^. Abtit, at (peccatamM) poMint sivpeBdere te a tam salubri officio pietatis 
ius^quo, et a4vocata cs, et mediatrix hominuiUj post filium tuum spea unica ct 
refVigittm tatiBsimtun miseronun. — lb. 

* Totum nquidem quod babes gratis, totum quod babes glorue, et etiam boc 
ipsum quod es mater Dei, si fas est dicere, peccatoribus debes.—/^. 

* Absit hoc a matre I)d, quse fontem pietatis toti mundo peperit^ ut cidqaam 
miserorum, suie miscricordis snbventionem unquam dene^et. — lb. 

< Officium ergio tuum est mediam te inter^nere inter ipsum et homines .... 
^oveat ereo te, gloriosa Dei mater, benignissima misericordia tua, quee migor 
i^ogitiM^ter est omnibus Titiis meis et peccatis. — lb. 

* Cofltolamini pnsillanimes ; respirate miserabilea ; Vbrgo Deipara est humani 
eneris adrocata idonea, sapientissima, uniTersalis.— -/» i^. jHr« espp. ado. Tare. 

mac. t 

14 § 

In Rom?, there was a woman, known by tlue.napaiB of'^ 
' Catbeyine the Fair/ vlxo was leading a most disprjierly Ijife, i 
She p^ce heard Saint Dominic preaching on \h& deyptio^' 
of the Rosary,, had her name enrolled iu the cpnfratenuty, 
£Uid bpgjgito recite it, but without changing her lifq,, 0^^ 
evening a young man of noble mien came to visit her ; shj^. 
received him with courtesy, but, whilst they weiTQ at supply, 
she remarked, that as he was cutting bread, drops of blppd 
fell from his hands, and then she saw that therq was blood 
on aU the food he took. She aske^d him. what we^s t^ 
meaning of this. The voung jnan replied, that ' tl^e fpqd 
of a Christian should be tinged with the hJood of Jesu^ 
Christ, and seasoned with the remembrance of His passion-* 
Astopished at such an answer, Catherine asked him yfhQ 
he was. ' Later ' he said, * I will tell you.' then going 
into an adjoining room, the appearance of the young maa 
changed ; he was cro^vned with thorns ; his flesh all. saan-^ 
gled and torn ; and he said : * Desirest thou to know 5vjip 
I am ? Dost thou not recognise me ? I am thy Bedeemer, 
Oh, Catherine, when wilt thou cease offending me ? S^ 
what I have endured for thee 1 Thou hast now tormented 
me enough ; change thy life.' Catherine bursty into sobs 
and tears, and Jesus, encouraging her, said: *Love m,e now 
as much as thou hast offended me ; and know, that J have 
granted thee this grace on account of the Eos^ry thou hast 
recited in honour of my Mother.' He then dlsapp^red. 
On the next morning Catherine went to confession ta Saint 
Dominic, distributed all she had to the poor, and ever after- 
wards led so holy a life that she attained a very high degree 
of perfection. Our Blessed Lady appeared many times to 
lier, and our Lord Himself revealed to Saint Dominic, that 
this penitent had become very dear to him.^ 


0, great Mother of my Lord, I see full well that my ^- 
«;ratitude towards God and thee, — and this too for 90 nwipv 

I Dioiall, torn, ii, Domen. (^nrnqnag. 

years, has merited for me that thou shouldst justly ahan- 

4oii me, and no longer hare a care of me, for an migrate- 

ft! sKwi 1^ no longer worthy of favours. But I, O Lady, 

hacte 6rh^ idea of thy great goodness ; I bdieve it to be 

far greiater than my ingratitude. Continue then, O refuge 

of. sinners, and cease not to help a miserable sinner, who 

cbiifides in thee. O Mother of Mercy, deign to extend a 

helbing hand to a poor faflen wretch, and who asks thee 

for pity. O Mary, either defend me thyself, or teU me to 

whom I can have recourse, and who is better able to defend 

me thto thou, — and where I can find with God a more 

clement and powerful Advocate than thou, wlio art His 

Mbther. Thou, in becoming the Mother of our Saviour, 

livast thereby made the fitting instrument to save simiers, 

and Vast given me for my salvation. O Mary save him 

whd htis recourse to thee. I deserve not thy love, but 

it is thine own desire to save sinners, that makes me hope 

that thou lovest me. And if thou lovest me, how can I 

be lost ? O my own beloved Mother, if by thee I save 

my &oul, as I hope to do, I shall no longer be ungrateful, I 

shall make up for my past ingratitude, and for the love 

thou hast shown me, by my everlasting praises, and all 

the affections of my soul. Happy in Heaven, where thou 

reighest, and wilt reign for ever, I shall always sing thy 

mercies, and kiss for eternity those loving hands, which 

have delivered me from hell, as often as I have deserved 

it by my sins. O Mary, my liberator, my hope; my Queen, 

my Advocate, my o^ti sweet Mother, I love thee ; I desire 

tly gloiy, and I will love thee for ever. Amen, amen. 

Thus do I hope. 

Sbctiok III. — Marif ia tJie peace-maker hetween sinnera 

and God. 

The grace of God is the greatest and the most desirable 
of trea3ures for every soul. It is called by the poly 
Crhost an infinite treasure; for by the means of Divine 
'^ib we'are raised to the honour of being the friends of 


God. These are the words, of the Book (rf Wisdom t *• JFor 
she is an infinite treasure to men : which thev that use be- 
come the friends of God."^ Andlience Jesus our Bedeemer, 
and God, did not hesitate to call those "his friends who 
were in grace : "You are my firiends."^ Oh accursed siu, 
that dissolves this friendship ! " But your iniquities/' says 
the Prophet Isaias, " have divided between you and your 
God." * And putting hatred between the soul and God, 
it is changed from a friend into an enemy of its Lord, as 
expressed in the Book of Wisdom : **Bttt to God the wicked 
and his wickedness are hateful alike."* What, then^ 
must a sinner do who has the misfortune to be the enemy 
of God? He must find a mediator who will obtain pardon 
for him, and who will enable him to recover the lost 
friendship of God. * Be comforted, O unfortunate soul, 
who hast lost thy God,' says Saint Bernard ; * thy Lord 
himself has provided thee with a mediator, and this is 
His Son Jesus, who can obtain for thee all that thou 
desirest :' * He has given thee Jesus for a Mediator ; and 
what is there that such a Son cannot obtain from the 
Father ?' ^ 

But, O God ! exclaims the Saint, and why should this 
merciful Saviour, who gave His life to save us, be ever 
thought severe? Why should men believe Him terrible 
who is all love. Oh distrustful sinners, what do you 
fear? If your fear arises from ha^dng offended God^ 
know that Jesus has fastened all your sins on the cross 
with His own lacerated hands, and having satisfied Divine 
justice for them by His death. He has already effaced them 
from your souls. Here are the words of the Saint : 'They 
imagine Him rigorous, who is all compassion; terrible, 
who is all love. What do you fear, O ye of little faith? 
With His own hands He has fastened your sins to the 

^ Infinitus euini thesaurus est hominibus: quo qui usi sunt, participes faeti 
«tiAt amicituB Dei.<— &i|>. vii, 14. ' 

3 VoB amici mei estis. — Joan, xv, 14. 
' ' '^ Iniquitates TCstrttcUvisenint inter tos et Dcum vestrani.— /so. lix, S. 

* Odio sunt Deo impius et inipietas ejua.—Sap. xiv, 9. 

« Jeaom tibi detUt mediatorem. Quid noa. a^ud tnlem Patrcm, fUiw talis 
ohtineat?— i^tfrm. de Aqntcd. 


cross.' ^ *But if by chance,* adds the Saint, ' thou fearest 
to have recourse to Jesus Christ because the majesty of 
Grod in Him overawes thee — ^for though He became man 
He did not cease to be God — and thou desirest another 
advocate with this Divine Mediator, go to Mary, for she 
will intercede for thee with the Son, who will most certainly 
hear her; and then He will intercede with the Father, 
who can deny nothing to such a Son.*^ Thence, Saint 
Bernard concludes, * This Divine Mother, my children, 
is the ladder of sinners, by which they re -ascend to the 
height of Divine grace : she is my greatiest confidence, she 
is the whole ground of my hope.' ' 

The Holy Ghost, in the sacred Canticles, makes the 
most Blessed Virgin use the following words : " I am a 
wall : and my breasts are as a tower, since I am become 
in his presence as one finding peace;"* that is, I am 
the defender of those who have recourse to me, and my 
mercy towards them is like a tower of refuge, and therefore 
have I been appointed by my Lord the peace-maker 
between sinners and God. ' Mary,' says Cardinal Hugo, 
on the above text, *is the great peace-maker, who finds 
and obtains the reconciliation of enemies w ith God, sal- 
vation for those who are lost, pardon for sinners, and 
mercy for those who are in despair.' ^ And therefore was 
she called by the Divine Bridegroom, " beautiful as the 
ciu'tains of Solomon." ^ In the tents of David, questions 
of war alone were treated, but in those of Solomon, ques- 
tions of peace only were entertained ; and thus does the 
Holy Spirit give us to understand that this Mother of 

^ Severam imaglnatiir, qni pios eat; terribilem qni amabilia est. Quid timetU 
iiiadu» lidei ? peccats affixit oruci suis manibiui.t 

* Sed foraitim et in ipso majestatem vereare Divinam, quod licet factus sit 
liomo, manserit tamen Deus. Advocatum habere vis et iid ipaum ? ad Mariam 
recnrre . . . Exaudiet ntiqne matrcni Filius, et exaudiet Filium pater. — Senn. de 

* Filioli httc peccatorum scala, haic mea maxima fiducia est, hseo tola ratb 
Bpei mese.— /%. 

* Ego mnius: et uben mea iicnt tnrris, ex quo facta sum coram co quasi 
pacem reperiens. — Cant. Tiii, 10. 

* Ipsa ret rqNsiit poeem inimicis, salnteni perditia, ind\^1gentiaiu rois, miseri- 
cordiam desperatis. — In Cant. cap. viii. 

* FQmiosa . . , sicnt pelles Saloi^onis. — Cant, i, 4. 


Mercy never treats of war and vengeance against sinners, 
but only of peace and forgiveness for them. 

Mary was prefigured by the dove whieb letaiued to 
Noah in the ark with an olive brandi in its beak, as a 
pledge of the peace which God granted to men. And on 
this idea Saint Bonaventure thus addresses our Blessed 
Lady : * Thou art that most faithful dove, thou wtut a sure 
mediatress between God and the world, lost in a Bpintoal 
deluge;'^ thou, by presenting thyself before God, hast 
obtained for a lost world peace and salvoticm. Mary, then, 
was the heavenly dove which brought to a lost world the 
olive branch, the sign of mercy, since she in the finrt plaoe 
gave us Jesus Christ, who is the source of mercy, and then, 
by his merits, obtained aU graces for us.^ * And as by 
Mary,* says Saint Epiphanius, * heavenly peace was <>nce for 
all given to the world,' so by her are sinners still reconoiled 
to God.' Wherefore blessed Albert the Great makes 
her say: *I am that dove of Noah, which brought the 
oHve branch of universal peace to the church.' * 

Again, the rainbow seen by Saint John, which encirded 
the throne of Gt>d, was an express figure of Mary: " And 
there was a rainbow round about the throne."** It is thus 
explained by Cardinal Vitalis : * The rainbow Jfound the 
throne is Mary, who softens the judgment and sentence of 
God against sinners ;* * meaning, that she is always before 
God's tribunal, mitigating the chastisements due to sin* 
ners. Saint Bemardine of Sienna says, * that it Iras of 
this rainbow that God spoke when He promised Noah limt 
He would place it in the clouds as a sign of peace, that on 
looking at it He might remember the eternal p^ace which 
He had covenanted to man. " I will set my bow in the 

^ Ta enim es ilia fidelissima eolnmba Noe, qnee inter sunmnm Deum et mnn- 
dum diluvio spiritnali gabmersimi mediatrix fidelisBima extitit. — * l^ec-. B. H. f, 
lect. ix. 

■ Nam Christum nobis detnKt fontem miaerieordisB. — "B. ^ff«2l.t 

* Per te pax coelestis donata est.t 

'* Ego sum columba Noe, Ecclesia; ramnm olivte et pads deferens muversalis. 
— J?i*f. Mar. in lib. cant. 16. 

* Et iris erat in cirtmitu sedis.—^jjoe. iv, 3. 

" Iris in circuitu sedis est Maria . . . qnse mitigat Dei jadidnm, et flentestiBm 
contra peccatorea.— /Sjpw. 8. Script, de B. V. M. 


Cimida, and it ahall be the saga of a coTount between, me 

tod between the earth .... and I shall see it, and shall 

reoMuiiber the evedastuig covenant." ^ ' ^lary,' says the 

Saint, '^is this bov of eternal peace:' ^ ' for, as God on 

seeing it leinembeia the peace promised to the earth, so 

dees He, at the prayers of Mary, forgiye the cnmes of 

qpnnera, and oraxfiim His peace with them.' ^ 

- 3P<Hr.the same reason Mary is compared to the moon, in 

fte sauoed Gantieks : " Eair as the moon." ^ ' For,' says 

Saint Bcwayenture, ' as the moon is between the heavens 

and. the earth, so does Maiy continually place herself 

between Grod and sinners in order to appease our Lord in 

tlioir legsrd, and to enlighten them to return to Him.' ^ 

. The diief office given to Mary, on being placed in this 

worlds was to raise up souls that had faUen from Divine 

grace, and to reconcile them with God. "Feed thy 

goata»" ^ waa our Lord's command to her in creating her. 

It is well known that sinners are understood by goats, 

md that as at the last judgment the just, under the l^gure 

of sheep, will be on the right hand, so will the goats be on 

the left. 'These goats,' says the Abbot William, *are 

eoitru$led to thee, O great Mother^ that thou mayest 

(rfumge^'them into sheep; and those who by their sins 

deaorred to be driven to the left, will, by thy interces- 

non, be plaeed on the right.' 7 And therefore our Lord 

KT^kd to JBaint Catharine of Sienna, ^ ' that He had 

areafced this His beloved Daughter to be as a most sweet 

bait by which to eatch men, and especially sinners, and 

^ * 

1 AxQum meum ponam in nubibus, et erit signum foederis inter me, et inter 
tenasi . . K Tidebo ulum, et lecordabor kederis 8e«imtemi->-(?o». ix, 13, 16. 
' InMk£it aseya icederis semj^terni. — Serm. i, de Ifom: M. cap. 8. 

* iructus iridls est recordatio, divini foederis, ne IHvino juoicio disperdntni* 
tera, el taiam auima riveni in «i : et per Virginem glorKtsam, oiFensa reis re- 
mittitur, pax restitnitar, focdns string^tur. — Exposit. in Cap. iv, Apoc. 

' ** Poldura «t hma. — Cani. ri, 9. 
^ Sicutfama est media inter carp<Hra coelestia et terrena, et quod ab illis acoipit 
ad inferiora lefimdit ; sio et Virgo regia inter nos et Beum eat muedia, et gratiam 
ipsa nobia refimdit. — &n». xiv, de NtU. Dotn.f 

* Yaace hssdos tnw.-^-CoHL i, 7. 

7 Ba^oft hffidos toos, «)uos conTertia In oves, et qui a Binistrlfl in judicio eraat 
coUocandi, tua intercessione coUocentur a dextris.t 



163 0> ^iUiOtfiutf Aovooixtt. 

^w tiiem to a<M.' ^ Bat! im tliiB 8M>jeet^%« >ilt«if^ 

pass av(3r, the beantiM n&m&Dn dl-yf§iSam:^b'iti^_ 

on the above text oi' the nmtoi Olmticles/lii iiviikli M' « 
' that God xeooBunefidfid hsk-owk foatolKvliferjr',^* 4 
adds this author, 'the Blessed Yii^(dcte»*il6t-iiitv^ 
sinners but those only wko s«>re attd hk)ii(Mff"hea'. '=== 
much sOy indeed, that those who lite ^in sfta,< add Ky^^ 
honour hqr with any partkidaraet of koma^e,- ttdi'y^lDdttiti 
usfiEnd themselTes to her in orda* to oittriettto tkerascfti^ 
from sin, they certainly are not Mary's goats.^'biity^at' ^ 
last judgment, will, for their eternal miseiy, bb drifto^tb^ 
the left hand with the damned/^ ' ' '- • 

, A certain nobleman, despeimg of his siilmtiOiiv'On'iM^ 
count of his many crimes^ was encouraged by a moidd tb 
have recourse to the most Blessed Virgin, and; for tidtf 
purpose, to visit a devout statue of Mary- in a particular 
church. He went there, and, on seeing ike image, he Mt 
as if she invited him to oast himsdf at her feet, and- to^ 
have confidence. He hastened to prostrate and Mas her 
feet, when M^ extended her hand, gave it him to l^s; 
and on it he saw written these words : ' I mil deHdmr ilk»' 
from those who oppress thee ; ' as though slie had said, Mjy* 
son, despair not, for I will deliver thee from the suts and 
sorrows that weigh so heavily on thee. On veaditig tKi^tfi^' 
sweet words, the poor sinner was Med with sach 'Sorroi^' 
for his sins, and, at the same time, with so ardent a'iove 
for God and his tender Mother, that he instam^y expired 
at the feet of Maiy. Oh, how many obstinate sinners' 
does not this loadstone of hearts draw eaahiftay to God t 
For thus did she call herself one day, saying to ' Samt 
ifoidget, ' As the loadstone attracts iron, so €lo I attlraet 
hearts. '^ Yea, even the most hardened hearts, to reemie^ ' 

% HflBC fltaim est a me, eleeia, parata, ei posita, tarnqnam esca duldMunu aa 
capiendos homines, et pnecipue animas peccatonuu. — dne. An,. Fid. c^p. |. 

' Suoi vocat, quia non omnes heedi vocantur MarisB, sed qiAMairiaiatolttllt ae 
venenjitur, licet acelehbus coutaminati. Qui ycto peccatb iitettti •fw^ nae B. 
Virginem speciali obsequio prosequuntut, nee pseoes tehdmt iB-^fw <nPAwtt, H^' 
aJiqiiAudo loupiscant, a«di proDeoto aimt, Boa Marin, icd «d ifaiiatvMi jiUKdi 
aiflteDdlf ■ ' •'' 

* Sicutmagrnes attrahit sibi ferrum, sic ego attrabo Dm diritt tent^}-^Bjft^.'*i 
Lib. iii, caj^. 32 ' .j ',*/ * 

i)9gi^t!^JSM*'»:Vf€ niUtdiot-mipposetliat sU(4;f^di^^ 

!^9)(>.]]p^ (OfTllfipflttr I «inild MMe Mtonljr dtfSM^s of ihe kin^ 
ii|^i*bav^<Q|otttir«di.iQi onr misfiiottB, where certaiti ^nnets, 
If^t%jl^aij^h(ivd9r,til|i^ so through all th« 

g^ier ff9rm(9Mi< but no aooBer 4fid Uiey hear th6 one on the 
«^^e^ Df'Mitfy» thanth^'weve Wed with compunction 
a^j^iirvied io< 6od. 8aint ^br^ocy ^ says, that the uni^ 
eqK|k,i%r46f i^ciiwa a.beast^ thAt' no 'hunter ean take it * at thii 
X9[ipe)4>nl)r'0f 41 Virgin ciyii^ outywill this beast approach,' 
8|id(|iotb9^'T^<^tance allow itself to be bound by her. 
Oh, how many sinners, more savage than the wild beasts 
tji^vn^ly^rand who fly from God, at thetoice of this 
gijp^Tijrgin, Maiy approach and allow themselves to be 
meetly bound ta God by her. 

,. Saint ^phn Chryaostom says, 'that another purpose for 
t^hich theBlassed Virgin Mary was made the Mother of God 
v,as, tbat she might obtain sahration for many, who, on 
appount of their wicked lives, could not be saved according 
to lihe lAgoui* of Divine justice, but might be so with the 
help of her sweet m^ey and poweil^ intercession.'^ 
IJw is eon&rmed by Saint Ansehn, who says, *that Mary 
If aa nuiaed to the dignity of Mother of God rather for 
simguirs tbaa &>t the just, since Jesns Christ declares, that 
Iio,<eame: ta call not the just but sinners.'^ !For this 
roasOn^ the holy Church sings, 'Thou dost not abhor 
simieiSj' ivilikoat whom thou wouldst never have been 
worthy of- auch a Son.' ^ For the same reason William 
of Paris invoking her, says : * O Mary, thou art obliged to 
hftp sinners far all the gifts, the graces, and high honours, 
wlueb art oomxnised in the dignity of Mother of God, that 
thjQAi hast received ; thou owest a&, so to say, to sinners, 
for on their account thou wast made worthy to have a 

>,l£» nwttr Sotpno^BcU es ab Rtartio, ut quot imtitia fiKi caltare ncm potest 


r ScM illMiL iMfif pMf(t» peontorai, mmu propter jmtos, esse fndam Pei 
■Mtren. Dicit enim ipte bonus filins qiis, se iion venissc vocare justos, sed 
pi^fWiiHUi »e Afv. A' nrg. oip. i. 

* rMCKtdVM Bon abhorres, tine quibus nnnquam fores tanto cligiia filitf. 



jSod for tky son.' ^ ' If then, Mary,' conclodes Saant 
Aneebn, ' was made Mother of God on aceount of ^iimerSj 
how can I, however great my sins may be, despair of 
pardon.' - 

The holy Church teUs us, in the prayer said in the mass 
of the vigil of the Assumption, 'thai the Divine Mother was 
taken from this world that she might interpose for us witli 
God, with certain confidence of obtaining all.' ^ Hence, 
Saint Justin calls Mairy an arbitratrix : 'The eternal Woird 
uses Mary,' he says, * as an arbitratrix.' An arbitrator is 
one into whose hands contending parties confide their 
whole case ; and so the Saint meant to say, that as Jesus 
is the mediator with the Eternal Father, so also, is Mury 
our mediatress with Jesus ; and that He puts all the 
reasons that He has for pronouncing sentence against us 
into her hands. 

Saint Andrew of Crete, calls Mary ' a pledge, a security 
for our reconciliation with God.' ^ That is, that God goes 
about seeking for reconciliation with sinners by pardoning 
them ; and in order that they may not doubt of their for- 
giveness, He has given them Mary as a pledge of it, and 
therefore he exclaims, ' Hail, O peace of God with mien.' ^ 
Wherefore, Saint Bonaventure encourt^es a sinner, saying : 
* If thou fearest that on account of thy faults, God in His 
anger, wiU. be avenged, what hast thou to do ? Go, have 
recourse to Mary, who is the hope of sinners ; and, if 
thou fearest that she may refuse to take thy part, loamr 
that she cannot do so, for God himself has imposed on 
her the duty of succouring the miserable.' • The Abbot 

1 Totum . . . qpod liabes gratiee, totum quod habes gloi-iae, et eliara hoc jpsum, 
finod es mater Dei, si fas est dicere, peccatoribns debes : omnia enim bepc proptci* 
peccatorestibi coUatA suiit.~'Z>r liket. JDiv. c. xvih. 

* Si . . . ipsa propter pcccatores, scilicet propter me, meiqiie similes, facta est 
Dei mater, quomoao immanitas peccatonun meoriun cogere poterit desperare 
veniam eonun ? — J)e Exc, V. c. i. , 

> Quam idcirco de hoc ssculo transtulisti ; ut pro peccatis nostris apud te 
iidixcialiter intercedat. 

* Per earn nobis obstricta sunt salutii pimora. — Jtp U. V. M. Dortu. Serm. iii. - 
^ Avfi sia, divina cum hominibus rec.onciIiatiD.-<-/n JnnuiU. S. M. Sfirm^ 

^ Si contra te etiam, propter tuas neqtiitias, ipsum videris indignatujn, adsjKia 
peccatorum confugias, man-cm suam . . . ab ea quod Yolueris imi^etrabis . .. . «ibi 
pro miseris satisfacere ex officio commiasum est. — Stim, Jm, P«»i» ea[>« xiu 


Adam also says, ' need that sinner fear being lost to whom 
the Mother of the Judsre offers herself to be Mother and 
advocate ? ' ^ * And thou, O Mary/ he adds, * who 
art the Mother of mercv, wilt thou disdain to intercede 
with thy Son, who is the Judge, for another son, who is 
a sinner ? Wilt thou refuse to interpose in favour of a 
redeemed sonl, with the Bedeemer who died on a cross to 
save sinners?'- No no, thou wilt not reject him, but, 
with all affection, thou wilt pray for all who have re- 
oomrse to thee, well knowing, that that Lord who has 
appointed thy Son a mediator of peace between God and 
man, has also made thee mediatress between the Judge 
and the culprit.' ^ 'Then, O sinner,' says Saint Bernard, 
•whoever thou mayst be, imbedded in crime, grown old 
in sin, despair not, thank thy Lord, who, that He might 
show thee mercy, has not only given thee His Son for thy 
advocate, but to encourage thee to greater confidence, has 
provided thee vnth a mediatress who by her prayen ob- 
tains whatever she wills. Go then, have recourse to Mary, 
and thou wilt be saved. 


Eupensus^ and Boniface^ relate, that in Florence there 
was a young woman of the name of Benedicta, who was 
leading a most wicked and scandalous life. Fortunately 
for her, as it turned out. Saint Pominic went to preach in 
that city, and she, out of mere curiosity, went one day to 
hear him. God, during that sermon, touched her heart, 
so much so that sho went, and weeping bitterly, confessed 
to the Saint. Saint Dominic there upon absolved her, and 
desired her to say the Rosary for her penance. From evil 

> Timere-ne debet ut pereat, ciii Maria sc matrein exhibet et lulrocatani.t 

* Tu miscricordise mater, non rogabis pro lilio filixun, pro rcdcmpto rcdenip- 

' Rogabis plane, quia qui filium tuum inter Beum et hominem posuit media- 
torem, tc qnoqnc inter reum et judicem posuit mediatrieem.t 

* Age cratiaa ei, qui talem tibi mediatricem benigniasima miserationc providit. 

» Ros. Sttcf. p. ▼, c. 60.t 

* Star. Verg. lib. i, c. 11 .t 


habits, the unfortunate creature again fell i»to lier. fonner 
mode of life. The Saint heard of it, sought hex out^ and 
again induced her to confess. God, in order to make 
her persevere, one day showed her hdl, and pointed ooi 
some who were there on her account. He then opened a 
book, and in it made her read the frightful catalogue of 
her sins. The sinner was horrified at such a sight, and 
full of confidence, begged that Mary would assist her, 
and she understood that this good Mother, had already 
obtained from God, time for her to weep over so many 
crimes. After the vision Benedicta led a good life ; biit 
always seeing before her eyes that terrible catalogue, she 
one day began to implore her comfortress in the following 
terms: 'My Mother,' said she, *it is true that for my 
crimes I ought now to be in the lowest abyss of hell, but, 
since thou, by obtaining me time to repent, hast delivered 
me fr'om it, 1 ask thee this one favour more, O most com- 
passionate Lady, tliat my sins may be cancelled from the 
book, and 1 will never cease all the same to weep for them.' 
At this prayer Mary appeared to her, and told her that to 
obtain what she desired she must always remember her 
sins and the mercy that God had shown her, and besides, 
that she should often recall to her mind, the sufferings 
which her Divine Son had endured for her love, and con- 
sider how many were lost for less sins than she had com- 
mitted ; and, at the same time, revealed to her, that on 
that day, a child only eight years of age would go to hell 
for one mortal sin. Benedicta obeyed our Blessed Lady 
faithfully, and, behold, one day Jesus Christ appeared to 
her, and showing her the book, said, *see the book is 
blank, thy sins are cancelled, now write acts of love and 
virtue in tlieir stead.' Doing this, Benedicta led a holy 
life, and died the death of a Saint. 


my most sweet Lady, since thy office is, as William 
of Paris says, that of a mediatress between God and sin- 


Tfieam,^ tifill ftddi^ess th^ in the words of Saint Thomas of 
iMlauovd. * fulfil' thy office in my behalf, tender Advo- 
ioW«, dA thy work.'^ 9ay not that my cause is too difS- 
Jiwdt td gain, for J know, 'and all tell me so, that every 
/cause,*' no maitei* how desperate, if undertaken by thee, is 
inewr, «Ad never trfll be, loit. And will mine be lost? 
-Ail no, thi» I oMinot feao*. The only -thing that I might 
.fy$it isj^lhat, on seeing the multitude of my sins, thou 
migl^st not tiiidettake my defence. But, on seeing thy 
iitfinense mercy, amd the very great desire of thy most 
.^weet bcart to help the most abandoned sinners, even this 
i^-tcadfoot fear. Aiid who was ever lost that had recourse 
4» thUeP Therefore, I invoke thy aid, O my great Ad- 
vocate, toy reftige, my hope, my Mother, Mary. To thy 
.)iidid» db I introfit the cause of my eternal salvation. To 
i^tsse do I conrtort my soul ; it was lost, but thou hast to 
gave it. I will always thank our Lord, for having given 
nkfc tbi» great eonfldenice in thee; and whifch, notwith- 
gtonding my tmworthiness, I feel is an assurance of salva- 
tion. I have but one fear to afflict me, O beloved Queen, 
«fld thaft is, that I may one day, by my own negligence, 
lose this confidence in thee. And therefore I implore thee, 
OMttry, by tbe love thou bearest to Jesus, thyself to 
presetre and incfrease in me, more and more this sweet 
eonfidenbe in thy intercession, by which I hope most 
certainly to recover the Divine friendship, that I have 
Ul^etto^o madly despised and lost ; and having recovered 
it, I hope, through thee, to preserve it ; and preserving it 
by the same means, I hope at length to thank thee for it 
in heaven, and there to sing God's mercies and thine for 
f^ eternity. Amen. This is my hope, thus may it be, 
jbhtts k will be. 

^ Offlcium tuum est, mediam te interponerc inter Deum et homines. — De 
Rhet. Dip. c. xviii. 

* £ja ergo advocata nostra . . -. officiom tumn imple tanm opus exerce. — 1» 
Nat. B. V. Concio III. 

i I III • 1 ' 

15 § 

•• I, 


•1 ,..,( • ,'.. 




Ma7y is till eyes to pity mid mecour m in our moe^lti^^ . 

Cf AINT Epiphamus calls the Diirine Mothw niAQy-eyed} 
C^ indicating, thereby, her vigilance in assisting us. pop?: 
(tfeatnres in this world. A possessed persoa was once 
being exorcised, and was questicmed, by the excircist, iis 
to what Mary did. The devil replied, * She descends Aud 
ascends.' And he meant, that this bexugn Lady is oca-' 
stantly descending from Heaven to bring graces to meii, 
and re-ascending to obtain the Divine favour on our 
prayers. With reason then, used Saint Andrew Avellino to 
call the Blessed Yirgin the * Heavenly Commis^nei;,' for 
she is continually carrying messages of mercy, and obtain- 
ing graces for all, for just and siraiers. God fixes his 
eyes on the just,* says the Royal Prophet. " The eyes of 
the Lord are on the just."^ * But the eyes of the Lady^? 
says Richard of Saint Lawrence, * axe on the just, and on 
sinners.'^ ' For,' he adds, * the eyes of Mary are theeyps 
of a mother, and a mother not only watches her childs to 
prevent its falling, but, when it has fallen, she picks it 

Jesus himself revealed this to Saint Bridget, fqr qne 
day He allowed her to hear Him thus addressing His 
holy Mother : ' My Mother, ask of me what thou wilt.'* 
And thus is her Son constantly addressing Maiy, in Heaven, 
taking pleasure in gratiiViug his beloved Mother, in nil 

1 Oculi Domini siipcr jiistos.— P«. xxxiii, IC. 

* Of uH Dnminffi super peccatores.— Z)(t Laud. T. Mb. v, cap. fJ. 

* Ocoli Donrini snpcr jnstos acut o^uU luatria ad pueruiu nc cadat; ct fi 
ceciilerit iit cum rclevet — Ih. 

* I'ctc ergo quod vie.— Li)), v), cnp. 23. 


that she asks. But what does Mary ask? Saint Bridget 
heard her reply: ' I ask mercy for sinners.'^ As if she 
had said, 'My Son, thou hast made me the Mother of 
Mercy, the refuge of BijlnerB^ tjie ^d^ooatp of the miserable, 
and now, thou tellest me to ask what I desire ; what can 
I ask es!€<^pt' iftfercy foK ibem;' M asjc jneroy for the 
miserable.' * And so, Mary, thou art so full of mercy,' 
says Saint Bonaventure, with deep feeling, * so attentive 
in relieving the wr^jtched, that it seems that thou hast no 
other de^, no other anxiety.' ^ Andi aa amongst tke 
miserable, sinners are the most miserable of aU, venerable 
B^dfe' dedtttes, 'That Matty is* always praying to her Son 

''"'Evenwhikt living in this world,' says Saint Jerome, 
''tiheflieftrt of Maiy was so ilLsd with tenderness and com- 
paissicln for men, that no one ever suffered so much for his 
own 7)ains as Mary suffered for the pains of others.''* 
This compassion for others in affliction, she well showed 
at the marriage feast of Cana, spoken of in the preceding 
chapters, when the wine failing, "without being asked, 
iremarks Saint Bemadine of Sienna, she charged herself 
XTith'the office' of a tender comfortress ;5 and moved to 
.6oinpas^n, at the sight of the embamissment of the bride 
ktid bridegroom, she interposed with her Son, and obtained 
themiraciildus change of water into wine. 

"Btit pethaps,' says Saint Peter Paraian, addressing 
Maty; * now that thou art raised to the high dignity of 
Queeri' of Heaven, thou forgettest us poor creatures?' *Ah, 
fer' be such a thought from our minds,' he adds, ' fpr it 
woidd little become the great compassion that reigns in 
the heart of Mary, ever to forget such misery as ours.'^ 

* KiaericonliaTn et anxiljam pdd m\aaiiB.-—Es». Wh i, cap. 60. . _ 

* Undirpie EoUioit^ d« nuaeris, undic^ne miaeiiconlia vallaris, solum luiscreri tu 
vif^aas apjetRre — Sufw Suite Reg. 

' * StM Maria in ftonspectu filii sui, non (esBarns pro peoea^onjjus exAiar^.— ^ 

* Nullbm in liac vita adeo psente torserunt propHfe, sicnt Marixun aliflnK,-^^ 
EpisL ad Eust.\ 

* Ofliciam pin atixiliatricis assumsit non rogata.f 

,. « Numq.Hii O Beiata Virgor, quia Ita deificata, idco nostrs linroilitati« ooUUi ea ? 
J^eqnaqnam Dbmiha . . . non emitt com«rtit laiiti^ misemprdiie tantam .niise- 
jiam o!)livisci. — Serm. i de Nat. B. V. 

176 mas i^axKBi mJSby ^urb, 

Iba pto^etb, iha,t ^ h(mb\£f9 ohttngi^ oUr iriafln^s,'' doe* 
mt ripply to- Ma?y: With iifroAdlings' it l95o^^n^<'fiit 
ttiey,'Wneii once' mised tb ahigh^dignity, become pirthidi 
rind forge*! tiwar fownei* poor- Meinfe ; but it 'is:-ti()V «b w^ 
Maiy, who tejoicjeft in* hcur Own esaktttion, becaiis^^'sli© 14 
thus better able-t» help the miBerttbte: 0*i *M« mh^M, 
Saint Bonkvenijtire affiles to the Blessed Vii^thte^wcfrds 
addifedsed to IbattSi i 'vBkssed • art thora' of the Uord,- fnjf 
daughter, and fthy • latter MiMiness has stirpassed 1^ 
former :"i ilieaTiiiig''to say, *T^at, if the compassi0ni'<)f 
Mary was great towards the miserable, when Ktiog'in tM$ 
world, it is ttmeh. greater now that she reigns in 'Heavett.'^ 
He then gives the reason for this, saying : * That thb 'DWaie 
Mother shows^ by the inlramerable graces she obtains fc^t 
us, her greater mercy, for mm she is better acquaint*^ 
with our miseries.'^ Thenoe hfe adds, 'That, a& tb« 
eplcndour of the sun surpasses <^at of the moon, so doed 
the compassion of Mary, now that she is in Hearen, surpass 
the compasmon she had for us when in the world.'* Itt 
conclusion he asks, * who is there living in this workl> 
who does not enjoy the light of the sun? and on whwA 
does not the mercy of Mary shine P'^ 

For this reason, in the sacred Canticles, she is called, 
<< Bright as the sun."^ * For no one is excluded from the 
warmth of this sun,' says Saint Bonaventure: and the same 
thing was also revealed to Saint Bridget, by Saint Agnes, 
who told her, * That our Queen, now that ^^le is uiiited =td 
hfer Son, in Heaven, cannot forget her innate goodness ♦ 
mad; therefore, she shows her compassion to all, even to 
the most Impious sinners, so much so, that as the celestiid 
and terrestrial bodies are all illumined by the sun, so there 

1 BenecKcta, inqtiit, ea a Domino filia, et priorem nrisericordiara postBrlore 
snperasti. — Rntk iii, 10. 

* Magna erga miseros fuit misericortlia Mariee, adhuc exulantis in mirado, sed 
flwQto ma»1or ergfa miseros est misericordia ejns, jam regnantis in coelo. — Spue. 
S. M:r. Leet X. 

* Majorem, per btti^flcia inimmembiJia, nunc ostendit hominibus misedcor- 
dlam, qui magis nunc videt innnmerabilem hominum miseriara. — Tb. 

' * BTam fltienradmodnm sol lunam superat ma^itudine splendoris, sic prioreju 
Mi^rtte miffliricordiam superat, magnitu(io postenoris. — lb. '\ 

*'QuiB ftJt super quern misericordia Mante non re8plendeat?--/i. 
8 Electa ut sol— Cant, vi, 9. 


is no one in ike world, who, if he asks for it, does not, 
through the tenderness of Mary, partake of the Divine 
mercy. '^ A great sinnear, in the kingdom of Valencia, 
who having become desperate, and, in order not to fail 
into the h^ds of justice, had determined on becoming a 
Mahometan, was on the point of embarking for the pur- 
pose, when, by chance, he passed before a church, in which 
Father Jerome Lopez was preaehing on the merc^ of God. 
On hearing the sermon he was converted, and made his 
confession to the father, who asked him if he had ever 
practised any devotion, on account of which Grod might 
have shown him such great mercy : he replied, that his 
oaly devotion was a prayer to the Blessed Virgin, in which 
he daily begged her not to abandon him.^ In an hospital, 
the same father foimd a sinner, who had not been to con* 
£ession for fifty-five years; and the only devotion he prac* 
tised was, that when he saw an image of Mary he saluted 
her, and begged that she would not allow hun to die in 
mortal sin. He then told him, that on an occasion, when 
fighting with an enemy, his sword was broken, and turn* 
ing to our Blessed Lady, he cried out, Oh, I shall be killed, 
and lost for eternity. Mother oi sinners help me. Scarcely 
had he said the words than he found himself transported 
to a place of safety. After making a general confession 
he died, full of confidence. 

Saiut Bernard says, ' That Mary has made herself all to 
all, and opens her merciful heart to all, that all may receive 
of her fulness; the slave redemption, the sick health, 
those in affliction comfort, the sinner pardon, and God 
glory, that thus there may be no one who can hide him- 
self from her heat.'^ * Who can there be in the world,' 
exclaims Saint Bonaventure, 'who refuses to love this 

^ Nunc anlem copjuncta fUio non oblimcitur innatse bonitatis snse. Bed ad 
onmes extendit miseiicardiam snam, etiam ad pessimos: at sicut sole illaiui- 
nantur et inflammentnr ccelestia et terrestria, sic ex dulcedine M.nriae nuUus es^ 
qui non per earn, si petitur, sentiatpietatem. — Sev. lib. iii, c^. 30. 

* Tatngn. Uenol. 2 Feb.\ 

* Maria . . . omnibus omnia facta est . . . omnibus misericordise ainum i^erit, 
ut de plenitudine ejus accipiant nniversi: captivns redemptionem, ceger curv 
tionem, tristis consolationem, peccator veniam . . . ut non sit qui se absoondat a 
calore qua.— 5er»i. in Sign. Magn. 


most amiable Queea ? She is more beautiful ihan tko sun ^ 
and sweeter than hone\'. She is a treasuie oi goodness, 
amiable and courteous to aU.' ^ ' I salute thee then/ 
continues the enraptured Saint, ' O my Lady and Mother, 
nay, even my heart, my soul. Forgive me, O Maiy, if I 
say that I love thee, for if I am not worthy to love thee, 
at least thou art all- worthy to be loved by me.' ^ 

It was revealed to Saint Gertrude, that when these 
words are addressed with devotion to the most Blessed 
Virgin, ^ Turn then, O most gracious advocate, thine eyes 
of mercy towards us,' Mary cannot do otherwise than yield 
to the demand of whoever thus invokes her. ' Ah truly, O 
great Lady,' says Saint Bernard, 'does the immensity of thy 
mercy fill the whole earth.' ^ ' And, therefore,' says Saint 
Bonaventure, ' this loving Mother has so earnest a deaiie 
to do good to all, that not only is she offended by those 
who positively outrage her (as some are wicked enough to 
do), but she is offended at those who do not ask her for 
favours or graces.'^ So that Saint Idelbert addresses 
her, saying ; ' Thou, O Lady, teachest us to hope for far 
greater graces than we deserve, since thou never ceasest to 
dispense graces far, far beyond our merits.'^ 

The prophet Isaias foretold, that, together with the 
great work of the redemption of the human race, a throne 
of Divine mercy was to be prepared for us poor creatures : 
"And a throne shall be prepared in mercy."® What is this 
throne ? Saint Bonaventure answers, ' Mary is this throne 
at which all — just and sinners, find the consolations of 
mercy.' He then adds, ' for as we have a most merciful 
Lord, so also we have a most merciful Lady. Our Lord 

^ Quia non te diligit, O Maria . . . pnlchriorem sole, dulciorem mellc . . . 
OmniDTU es amabilis, omnibus es affabilis ? — Stim. Am. p. iii, Med. sup. Salve 

» Ave Domina mea, Mater mea; imo cor meum et anima mea . . . Mihi parce^ 
Bomiaa, quod me amare dicam te. Etenim si noa sum. dignus, Bon es indiipia 
amari. — Stim. Am. p. iii, cap. 16. 

3 Latitudo misencordiee ejus replet orbraoi terrarum. — Serm. iv in Auumn, 

B. M. r. 

^ III te, Domina, peccant, non solum qui tibi injuriam inrogant, sed etiam qui 
te non rogant. — S. Bonar. in Spec. Virg.i 
B Doom nos speraxe m^ora mentis, ques mentis minora largiri non deaiiui.t 
^ Froeparabitur in misericordia solium. — Is. xri, 5. 


IB plenteons in mercy to all who call upon HiSii, and 
ottr Lady is plenteous in merc\' to all wlio call upon 
her/^ As our Lord is full of mercy, so also is our Lady, 
8nd as the Son knows not how to refuse mercy to those 
who caU upon Him, neither does the IMother. Wherefore, 
the Abbot Guarric, thus addresses the Mother, in the 
name of Jesus Christ : ' My Mother, in thee wiU I esftablish 
the seat of my government ; through thee will I pronounce 
judgments, hear prayers and grant the graces asked of me. 
Thou hast given me my human nature, and I wiU give thee 
my Divine nature,'^ that is, omnipotence, by which thou 
mayest be able to help to save all whomsoever thou 

One day, when Saint Gertrude was addressing the 
above words, * Tom thine eyes of mercy towards us,' to 
the Divine Mother, she saw the Blessed Virgin pointing 
to the eyes of her Son whom she held in her arms, and 
then saiid, * These are the most compassionate eyes that I 
can turn for their salvation towards all who call upon me.'* 
A sinner was once weeping before an image of Mary, rm* 
ploring her to obtain pardon for him fix)m God, when he 
perceived that the Blessed Virgin turned towards the 
child that she held in her arms, and said, ' My Son, shall 
these tears be lost?' And he understood that Jesus Christ 
had already pardoned him. 

How then is it possible that any one can perish who 
recommends himseft to this good Mother, since her Son, 
as Gt)d, has promised her that for her love He will show 
as much mercy as she pleases to all who recommend them- 
selves to her. This our Lord revealed to Saint Gertrude, 
allowing her to hear him make the promise to His Mother 

^ Solium diTiiue misericordifie est Maria mater misericordiai, in quo omnea 
inveniuiit fiolatia misericordise. Nam sicut misericordiosissimiuu Dominum ; ita 
miaericoTdiosissimam Dominam babemus. Doraiiimua nostermiiltse misericoitlift 
est omnibua invocantibua se : et Domiua nostra muLtee misericordise est oranibns 
ilivocantibus 9e.—Spec. B. M. V. Lcct. ix. 

' In te mihi quandam regni sedcm constitnam, de te judicia decemam, per te 
pwces exandiam . . . Conunnnicasti mihi pi>a?ter alia quod bomo sum : commu- 
nicabo tibi quod Deus sum. — Sertn. ii de Assump. 'B.M.V. 

* Isti aant miaericordiosioBimi oculi mei, quos ad omnes me inrocantes saln- 
briter possum inclinare, — "Ret. lib. iv, cap. 58. 


in the following words : * In mr omnipotence. Oh reTered 
Mother, I hare granted thee the reconciliation of all sin- 
ners who devontly invoke the aid of thy compassion, in 
whatever way it may please thee.'^ On this assurance the 
Abbot Adam Persenius, considering the great power of Maiy 
with God, and, at the same time, her great compassion for 
ns, full of confidence, says, * O Mother of mercy, thy ten- 
der compassion is as great as thy power, and thou art as 
compassionate in for^ving as thou art powerful in obtain- 
ing all. '2 « And when,* he asks, ' did the case ever occur 
in which thou, who art the Mother of mercy, didst not 
show compassion ? O, when was it that thou, who art the 
Mother of omnipotence, couldst not aid ? Ah, yes, with 
the same facility with which thou seest our misfortunes 
thou obtainest for us whatever thou wiliest /' * Satiate, 
oh satiate thyself, great Queen,' says the Abbot Guarric, 
* with the glory of thy Son, and out of compassion, though 
not for any merit of ours, be pleased to send us, thy ser- 
vants and children here below, the crumbs that fall from 
thy table.'* 

Should the sight of our sins ever discourage us, let us 
address the Mother of mercy in the words of WiUiam of 
Paris : * O Lady, do not set up my sins against me, for I 
oppose thy compassion to them. Let it never be said that 
my sins could contend in judgment against thy mercy, 
which is far more powerful to obtain me pardon than my 
sins are to obtain my condemnation.'^ 

1 £x oiunipotcntia mea, Mater rcvcrenda, tibi concessi potestatem propitiandi 
peccatis omnium, qui devote invocant tuie pietatia auxilium, qualicumque modo 
placet tihl.—£ev. nb. ir, cap. 58. 

* Muter misericordiai, tanta est pietas tua quanta potestas. Tam pia ea ad 
petendum, quam potcns ad impetrandum.t 

* Quando non compatieris lulseris, Mater misericordiee ? aut qrtando illis opem 
conferi-e non poteris, cum sis mater omuipotentiee, eadem facilitate obtinens quod 
cumane vis, qua facilitate, nostra innotescit miseria. — Jp. P. Pepe. 

* Mater misericordiiB, satui-are gloria filii tui, et dimitte reliquias tnas par- 
vnlis tuis. — Serm. iv de Asswnp. B. M. V. 

* Ne allegaTeris dulcisiima Dei mater peccata mea contra me, qui misericordiam 
tuam allego contra ea. Absit, ut stent in judiciu peccata mea contra misericor- 
diam tuam, qnee omnibus vitiia et peccatis, super omnem cogitatum fortior est et 
potentior.—i^ Met. 2Hv. cap. xviii. 

TUftif TfltKE £Y£!), ttC* 181 


In the chronicles of the Capuchin fathers it is related, 
that in Venice there was a famous lawyer, who, by finu- 
dulent dealings and bad practices became rich, so that he 
lived in a state of sin. The daily recitation of a particular 
prayer to the Blessed Yirgin was probably the only good 
thing that he ever did. And yet this slight devotion ob- 
tain^ him through the mercy of Maiy, deliverance from 
eternal death. It was thus. He, lumpily for himself, 
took an affection for Eather Mathew de Basso, and en* 
treated him so often to come and dine at his house, that at 
length this good father complied with his request When 
ke got to the house the lawyer said: 'Now, &ther, I 
will show you a thing you never saw before. I have 
a most extraordinary monkey, who serves me as a valet, 
washes the glasses, lays the table, and opens the door for 
me.' 'Ah,' replied the father, 'take care, perhaps it is 
not a monkey, but something more ; bring it here.' They 
call again and again for the monkey, but no monkey ap^ 
pears ; they seek for it everywhere, but it is not to be 
found. At length they discovered it concealed under a 
bed, in a lower part of the house ; but, no, the monkey 
would not come out. ' Well, then,' said the religious, ' let 
us go to it;' and when the lawyer and he reached the 
place where it was, the father cried out, ' Infemal beast* 
oome forth, and on the part of God I command thee to 
say what thou art.' The monkey replied, ' that he was 
the devil, and that he was only waiting for that sinner to 
omit for a single day his ordinary prayer to the Mother 
of God ; for, the first time he omitted it he had permis- 
sion from God to strangle him, and cany him to hell.' 
On hearing this the poor lawyer cast himself on his knees, 
to ask for help from the servant of God, who encouraged 
him, and commanded the devil to leave the house without 
doing mischief. ' Only,' said he, ' I permit thee to make 
a hole in the wall of the house as a sign of thy departure.' 
He had scarcely said the words than, with a tremendous 



noise, a bole was made in the wall, and, which, — ^though 
often closed with mortar and stone, God permitted should 
remain open for a long time, until, at length, the servant 
of God advised that it should be coveted with a marble 
slab, with the figure of an angel on it. The lawyer was 
converted, and, as we hope, persevered until deai£ in his 
change of life. 


O greatest and most sublime of all creatures, most sa- 
cred Virgin, I salute thee from this earth, — ^I, a miserable 
and Tmfortunate rebel against my God, who deserve chas- 
tisements, not favours ; justice, and not mercy. O Lady, 
I say not this because I doubt thy compassion. I knatf 
that the greater thou art the more thou dost glory in being 
benign. I know that thou rejoicest that thou art so rich 
because thou art thus enabled to snoGOfar us poor miserable 
oieatuFes. I know that the greater is the poverty of those 
who have recourse to thee, the more dost thou exert thy- 
sdf to protect and save them. O, my Mother, it was thou 
who didst one day weep over thy 8on who died for me. 
Offer, I beseech thee, thy tears to God, and by these 
obtain for me true sorrow for my sins. Sinners then 
afflicted thee so mueh, and I, by my crimes, have done 
the same. Obtain for me, O Mary, that at least firom this 
A»y forward I may not continue to afflict thee and thy 
Son by ray ingratitude. What would thy sorrow avail 
me if I continued to be ungrateful to thee? To what 
purpose would thy mercy have been shown me*, if again 
I was unMthM and lost? No, my Queen, permit it 
not, thou hast supplied for all my short comings. Thou 
obtainest from God what thou wilt. Thou grantest th^ 
prayerB c^ aU. I ask of thee two graces ; I expect them 
from thee, and will not be satisfied with less. Obtainfot' 
me that I may be faithful to God, and no more offend 
Him, and love Him during the remainder of my life as 
much ft9 I have offended Him. 



SBOfiOK I. — M(Bfry drivers her ClientBfroni HelL 

Tl is impossihk lor a die&t of Maxyi who is fiitfafol in 
^ honouring «ad rceammending hnHself to her^ to be lost. 
To some, this pnipodtion may appear, at first sight, exag* 
gerabed ; but any one, to idiom this might seem to be the 
oose, i would b^ to suspend his judgment, and, first of 
aU^ read what I ha^e to say on this sulgect^ When we 
say i^hat it is impossible for a elicit of Mary to be lost, we 
must not be understood as speaking of those ddents who 
take advantage of this deroUon, that they may sin more 
finely. And« therefore, those idio disiqsprove oi the great 
pndses bestowed on the clemency of this most Bleued 
Virgin, because it causes the wicked to take advantage of 
it, to sin with greater fipeedom, do so without foundation^ 
for such presumptire people deserve chastisemeDt, and not 
mercy ^ fom*^^ rash confidence. It is, therefore, to be 
undarstood of those dients, who, with a aanoeie desire to 
amend, are ftithfol in honouring and recommcaiding them- 
selrea to the Motho: of Grod. It is, I say, marally impos<- 
sible that such as these should be lost* And I find that 
Father Orasset, in his book on devotion towards the 
Messed Yirgm Maiy, says the same thii^.^ As ctid also 
Vega, before him, in bis Marian Theology,^ Mendoza, and 

' Tom. i, q. t. 
- >* In hniie igitkir fere modmn dkere poBtumiit} cnltoreif B-YifginUesse ladAtt« 
nabiles, anh esto non aint impeccabilea, nob perBevetabimt twien finality ia 
peccato, B. Yirgine iUis impetrante congrua auxuia qnibns infallibiliter resipiacant, 
ac tandem salTentur. — Virid. lib. ii, prob. 9. 


other theologianB. And thai we may see thai thqf 
not speak at landom, let us examue what other Saints, 
and learned men, have said on this suhjeet ; and kt no 
one be surprised if many of these ^notations are alike, for 
I have wished to give them all, m order to show how 
unanimous the various writers have been on this sobjeii. 

Saint Anselm says, 'that as it is impossible for <me 
who is not devout to Mary, and consequently not pioteeted 
by her, to be saved, so is it impossible for one who recom<^ 
mends himself to her, and consequentLy is bek>ved by her, 
to be lost.'^ Saint Antoninus repeats the same tlnng, and 
almost in the same words : ' As it is impossible for those 
from whom Mary turns her eyes of men^, to be saved, so 
also are those towards whom she turns these eyes, and fbr 
whom she prays, necessarily saved and glorified.'^ dm* 
sequently the clients of Maiy will necessarily be saved. 

Let us pay partieu]9r attention to the ^rst part of the 
opinions of these Saints, and let those tremble who make 
but little account of, or from carelessness, give up their 
devotion to this Divine Mother : they say that the salva-* 
tion of those who are not protected by Mary is impossible. 
Many others declare the same thing, such as blessed Albert, 
who says, that ' All those who are not thy servants, 0- 
Maiy, wiU perish/^ And Saint Bonaventure : ' He who 
neglects the service of the Blessed Virgin will 'die in his 
sins.'^ Again, ' He who does not invoke thee, O Lady» 
will never get to Heaven.'^ And, on the 99th psalm^ 
the Saint even says, ' that not only those from whom Maiy 
turns her face will not be saved, but that there will be 
no hope of their salvation.'^ Before him. Saint Igpmtiua 

1 Sient enim, O Beatissuna, omnis a te arerBiis et a te detpectus necesae eat 
ut intereat, ita, omnia a te oonvemia et a te respectaa impoaaiuile est, vt yettaL 
—In Depr. U ai B. V. 

* ImpoiMbile eit, qnod flH, qfoibiu Maria oenloa sok miBerieoidue avertit 
aalventur : ita neoessariiim quod hi, ad qaoa conveitit ocnlos luos, pro eis a4vO' 
eons, jtui tm ce utu r et glorifloentur: — P. iv, Jit. xy, cap. 14. 

s Gens et regniun quod non serrierit tibi . . . peribit.— ^IK Mar. in, U. 
Vo. 20. 
^ Qui . . . nerieterit illam, nu^etnr in peccatis suis.— /» Ps. cxvi, S. V. 

* wii te non mTOcat in hac Tita, non peircniet ad regnum Dei. — In P$. Ixxxri, 

* A quibus arerteris rqltnm tuiuni non erit spes nd salutem.— /» Tt- xct:(, 

ikii>mi^tyf tftidr ntotit Vf^ Mposjfible 1»t"atoy Sftm^r to 
lil?»»^?ldf&ofttrtli6*^eI])^ and farour 'of t%e mbst 'Biased 
1%glli;'%<5caTfew t!h6scw!i6'&re riot saved ' by thfe"Jtis^^ 
flplSod; fcne; XfUfihifinile mteixy, saved Hjr the tttteitoessioti 
dtotdfff^ *S(flne dotlbt, lis to "wlietiier tMs ptesAge W 
tnijr'^'SAfrit lgbsXiv& ; but, at all events; as Ftf9i^ 
@RfSs^^ fefiteir^, it Was adopted bj Saint Jolm' Clliy- 
fliM^MA;^' If is alsb t^peated by t}£ vbnei^ble Eaymcm^t 
J^fdaiib.^' 'And fn tbe same sense does the clnirclk appl^ 
td'lEaqrjr tbc wtjrds of Ptwwbs : ** All that 4ate me, lov« 
dwIhY^*' tlftl is, att urtiodo not lofve mfe, love eteffaal 
desl&i, "For, ftS Bjebard of Barat Lalmmee says; on ih!^ 
ironte' of the same bobk, *• She is like th^ merchant^ 
Mpf*^ ' Afl thoste irh'o ate ont of this sMp wifl be lost 
in^tbfe sea isf 1%e W(Md/^ Even the heretio^ CBccAaxhpa- 
dins looked itpdn litttc devotion to the Mothet of Gfod as 
a^iiertaiii mftrk of teprobation : and i^erefote he said, *Far 
be'tt'froiimc'evei'totttrn Ax)m!M&tty/^ * 

i'Btot,'on the other hand, Maiy says in the^^rords applied 
to Mir by th^ chnrdi, ''He that llea^rkeneth to m^ sihall not 
beridb<ifti«Mded ;*^ that is to say,' hef who Meneth to what 
I*S!^ ishril not be lost. On* Which Sjdnt Bonavtoture 
si^Sj^O Lady, he Who honours thee wiH be far from 
d»Mffiatibn.' •" And this 'wiH still be the case, flaintlCDtaijf 
<*«brve8i '«vefl shonld the pearson, during the past time, 
hah' greatly bff^ndcd God. ' Howevet gWat a simafet 
he mcjf telte beefa,* says the saint, • if hfe shews himsetf 

dc!VtMt 'to Jfetfy he win never perish.* i<> 

tt/f if''» - . • • ' •.'••• 

^ Impowi)>ile est -alimi^ salvari peccatoiem, aisi por tmiiDy O Virso^. aimliuxi 
ef ftVoMiK ' (Jifilk' 'qaoiiioii salvaf i)ei justitm, samt sua mtetcesnone MarUL 

rec.aJ^ViraA . ... 

tttmpt.B. firff.c.f. ."',',' 

'. eist qtiaelnavia inatitori8.--i*r(W. xxxi, 14. 
we tutind! snhmergenhtr (mmesi Qli, qnos Hon inflcebit iiamisfau—i)^ ■ 

^ Ntmqtf^dtL de tne audiatixr, quasi averser MariaJn, eifa qnam niintis bene tfflo* 

iQ Qna»tiimciiii\qiUrqiiu faerit peccator» si Mans devo^ extiUiit, niviauam in 

16 § 

.fjljor.i^ f9«9oa ih« devil does bk.nteoat.irith sibaerej 
iHj^r^.thal^ I^Ctec ibey liave lost tbd goBce c£ Goil« tiie^ 
may ^flso lose deirotion to Maiy. Wlie& Samh 8iv Ikaaol 
|l^.;iX>mpany with. Ismael, who was. teadung. Iukl ml 
liL^bits^, she desired that Abxaham would drive awi^ibokh 
Xtpoiiaal and his mother Agar : "CasA out tlda bond-^wioinjafa 
and hei* son." ^ 9he was not satisfied with, the aon.being 
fumed out of the house, but insisted (m tiie mother going 
also, thinking, that otherwise, the saa, ooming to see his 
mother, would continue to fiequent ibs house. The devil, 
also, is not satisfied with a soul taming out Jesua Ohxikt 
unless it also turns out His Mother : "Cast out this ban^^ 
woman and her son." Otii^rwise he lean timt the JUEother 
wiU again, by herinta'cessi on^ bring back her son. * Aad 
his feairs are well grounded,' says the learned Pacitieehdldii 
' for he who is faithful in serving the MoKher of God wi& 
soon receive God himself by the means of Maiy.' ^ Saini 
Ephrem then was right in calling devotion to our Blessed 
Lady ' a Divine chiurter,'^ our safe*gnaid from hell.- The 
saffie saint also calls the Pivine Mother ' the only liope'of 
those who are in despair/ ^ That which Saint ^maiid 
says is certainly true, ' tibuat neither the power» nor ihk 
wUl to save us can be wanting to Mary:'^ the ^power 
carmot be wanting, for it is impossible that hciipnlyers 
should not be heard, as Saint Antoninus sa^s, 'It k 
impossible that a Mother of Grod should pray in ^cminV^^ 
and Saint Bernard says the same thing ; * that' her i^^ 
quests can never be refused,. but that she.obtain^ whaAi- 
ever she wiUs :' 7 the will to save us cannot be wa^tingt 
for Mary is our Mother, and desires mir salvation inmn 
tbfm. we can desire it ourselves^ Sdnoe then iUs ialfthe 
casCi how can it be possible for a client. rofMknpi to 
be^Jofttf He mi^ he a siimcfr, b(ut ifhotecMnnJendA 

' * Qm Pei Genitrici peneveranter oUequitur, oon inwlta.atyra-et .PywTO JMum 
iki'i«rrMtetet.-'/M MSf.Sefi.Sxe. , ttt- . -jTmrnrrrr 

* Churw divinisflima.— Or. deLaud. V. 

^ Unica apes desperantiniii. — Jbii. \ . / n - •. <' • 

, s Nee fAcuj[t(vi ei deesse poterit sec xxitim^'r^^m^rSM 4.mm9\£. ¥IM,'^ 

• ImpOMinile erat earn non exaudiri. — P. iv, ISt. xv, c. 17. • • \ ' ^ 
7 Quod qna;nt, invenit, ct fruatrari oon potest.— iSrrff. ^< 4l^f^', 

AFn&nmu &Q% sxius, src: 187 

lamfldf: itf.UiM^ood'Mo/ihtiky with pers^evaace ^d pur- 
{MS gff amendment dMi^midertaide to obfiBi!& liSm ^lil 
tOGddiiaHdaa fabrwiokeii state, saitoir for Ins sfiis^pexsfH 
iJOBuuK in^TirhK/aiid, 'finoUy, a good death. And wkatt 
jsnAm wovldi mot driver het son from death if k only 
dqMvded.on her askiiig the fiivoar ta ohtaui it from the 
judge? . And ean we think that Maiy, who lores her dients 
viih'^a Jftother's most tender lore, will not deliver her 
dnld fron eternal death when she can do it so easily ? 
,:. Ahlidevont mder, let tis thank CFor Lord if we see that 
Ho. jias.. given, na affection fen:, and confidence in the 
(^nm- of 'Heaven; 'For,' says Saint John Damasc^, 'God 
colj gtaats this isEiroar to those whom he is determined to 
faafl^.' The following nre the heantiM words of the Saint, 
nttd with which he rekindles his own and our hope : ' O 
MothoB of Gkid, if I place my confidence in thee, I shall 
be «ATed. If I am nnder Ihy protection I have nothing to 
fear,.^ the fact of being thy client is the possession of a 
ffiiiainty of aalration, and which God only grants to those 
mlnini he intends to save.' ^ Therefore Erasmus salutes 
lbe:;Bksaed Yiigin in these words : * Hail ! O terror of 
hdl; O hope o/ Christians; awfidenoe in thee is a pledge 

- (Hi, .how emraged is the devil when he sees a soul per- 
sevciringia devotion to the Divine Mother 1 We read in 
ih^. lofe of Blessed Alphonsus Kodriguez, who was very 
dfivanH to Maiy, that cmce when in prayer, finding himsdf 
mnch iranbled by the devil, with impure thoughts, this 
immjFi aaid, ' Qrra np thy devotion to Mary, and i will 
oeaae to tempt thee.' 

m'lWe read in Elosins that God revealed to Saint Cathe- 
eme/nf Sienna, * that in His goodness, and on account of 
tbQjbuaarnate Word, He had gi«nted to Mary, who wils 
His Mother, that no one, not even a sinner, who derotitly 
fXioMitiifiiLda himself to her should ever become ihe prey 

1 Serm. 4e N. B. F.t 

* tiBlite.%BflB«nai^ fivrinido, dvittiffiioram ipcs; ccrta est MncU \x&.—Orat 
<f4 Vtrg.i 

l^e4bvMi'0 L(rf€, the bedtit^^of tKf hbufe^-; .^''tafeft^iilbi 
away my soul, O God, with the wicked." « He «ay8^6(I 
*^Thyt<$ttde;** ft* Mk-y iras ^0 1«ydSe thW(}ed^'W»«felf 
•dOtt^ttrui^e^ fcwf*his dW^Mg m earkfe, aftd ifl l^rfiMflfTA 
ooiiid'^ttd refpbse on becoBdrtg-Baaii, as it ^ wirtfeteti'ifi^lftte 
book' of Provfefbs, " Wiidomhath bfdtt'het^elf a'^hotifi^"^'^ 
•'Nb,''»ay&Ssitit Ignatius, the^wartft; 'heMo'^is-^ottl? 
tt^'the Nifpn Mother t^iil'^certainly n^vef fee im:* * :M^ 
Stont'Sonaventufe confinsis ihis; sajriiig; * Tby Ibvtffe, 'J^^ 
Eady, enjoy peace in thi^ life, and' -mil never ^see' etei)ttd> 
dfealh.' 5* The derotit Bbsitis assttr^ m, '•'Phdt' tii6 b«sfe 
neref did, tind iieV^ will oeoto in Which a httrnble ^fittd^ 
attentive' servairt of Mary was losti'^ •• '•■ '^'*' 

. •♦Oh, how Many would havefemaincd (/bstinate' ift sifti' 
atid have' been fetewiBaiy Idst,' says THbmas'aKettiplfe,"** 
Mftiy-had not interposed *with her Soh, thnt 'Hcf ini^ 
show them mercfyr^ It Is ako the opinknr df:lktfn^ 
thfeologiftnfr, and of Saint Thomas in patti(ifaMr,''t^ht'f«f' 
many who have died in tij'ottal «in the iMvine Mbtli^r feas 
oibitaitted fipom Gk)d IeC ^^e?iisi«n'of their ^tktem&'i'&a&^k 
return to life to do penance; Trustworthy authors gitie tl6 
many instances in which this has occtirtcd. Aintnget- 
otbirsr,' Flbdoawirii Who" liVted aboht the ninth^ «etttttty/ 
rcfetea in ia* Ohronit^eSj® thii iucertalft 'd^ooti,'^'A!8iitt^- 
Addnarati^Who was apparently deafly and was-bfcieglmHedy 

Sropter incamati Verbi reverentiam, ut qmcumque etiam peccaior ad earn cyp., 
evota veneratione recnrrit, nullo modo diripiatur a ctseiuone infemali.-^GaMi 1 

^■'Dcftnine, dfliJd'dfecorem ddmus {vlk . . . Ne pemas 'cum ilAp& DCTt^'animwn 
iiw$iitn7<i'f -fic^'fll 9; - ■ I' •'■ • ', •' '•' .'"t ■• ^i!i!';< ■fii//' M.-.) 
^* SaBwntia KsdificAvit sibi domunk.T— P«<w, ix, 1. , r i ^ ^- ,,. .j, 

TONfiA^ultf ^ei^i qttf g^trJd^gtiii dfevotti^, 8feaulti8q\{i eM^rit.1?^.''J'f'' 

ffitefaiilin.— -?*. Lxvii, S. M.V. , , r a r 

Can. Vit. Spir. cap. xviii. */; i r 

7 l^uot nuBsent aetemaliter condemnati;, vel^in despqrifttiji^e^'p^si^adfu^R^^ 
obsjinati, nisi benigiusaima Virgo Maria pn^ eis mttitrdkiMet'ad^^ 

4p. Cro*;. to. i, (J. 1^, 


ni^^xfn»i to life, and aitid 'that he had seea heM, to wUdi 
he was coodemBed, but that at the prayers of. the Slessed 
YirgiB^ he had beea sent back to this woiid to do 

- Siurius' relates a sinailar oase^ of a Boman citizen, named 
AmbeW) who had died impenitent, and for whxm Maxy 
ofatBined, that he should oome to life again, that he might 
be pavdoned. Felbertus^ says, 'That in his time, when 
the.£mperor Sigismund was crossing the Alps, with his 
army, a voice was heard coming from a skeleton, ask- 
ing for a confession, and dedaring that the MotW of 
God,, for. whom he had had a tender devotion, when a 
soldier, had obtained that he should thus live nntil he had 
beea able to make his confession ; and, having done so, 
the soul departed.' These, and other such examples, 
however, must not encourage rash persons to live in sin, 
with the hc^e that Mary will deliver them from hell, even 
dMonld they die in this state; for as it would be the height 
of foUyforany one to throw himself into a well with a 
hope that Mary would preserve his life because she has 
ocoasioiaally preserved some under similar circumstances, 
sfeill greater folly would it be to run the risk of dying in 
ain, in the hope that the Blessed Virgin would save him 
from hell. But these examples serve to revive our con* 
fidenoe with the reflection, that if the Divine Mother has 
been able to deliver from hdl even some who have died in 
SM9 how much more will she be able to preserve from a 
similar lot those who, during life, have recourse to her 
with a purpose of amendment, and who serve her faith- 

* What, then, will be our lot, O tender Mother,' let us 
ask with Saint Germanus, * who are sinners, but desire to 
change, and have recourse to thee, who art the Ufe of 
Christians P'* Saint Anselm says, *that he will not b^ 
lost for whom thou once praycst.'^ Oh, pray then for 

^ L0>. i, al. c. So.f 

^ gte(tar. Cor. JJ V, lib. xii, p. 3, a. 1. 

' Quidnam autem de nobis fiet, sanctissima Deiparn, Spiritug et vHa Chri«- 
tianorupi? — De Zona Vtrg. 
♦ JSternuni vac non sentiet ille, pro quo semel oravcrit Marla.t 


UBf and we aiudl be pieserred from heiL 'Wbo/ «c- 
didinB i^hard of Simt Vicfcor, ' will presume to smWf if I 
haive thee to delend me« O Mother of mercv, that the 
judge will be nufavoiiiable to me when I am pmaoitod 
befim the IHvine tdbonal P' ^ Bkated Hemr 8aB0 used 
to say, *' that he had placed Ms sool in the hands of Maiy, 
and that if he waa eondemned, the sentence must pass 
throogh her hands ;' ^ being confident that if it was in 
such hands, this tendra' Virgin wonkl oertainfy pieYent its 
execution. The same do I hope for myself, O my own 
most holy Qaeen ; and therefore I will sdways v^eat the 
words of Smnt Bons?entare, * In iJiee, O Lady, have I 
placed all my hopes ; and thos I confidently txost that 
I shall never be lost, but praise and lore Uiee for era* m 


In the year 1604, in a city of Tlandcrs, there were two 
young men, students ; but who, instead of attending to 
their studies, gave themselves up to a life of debauchery. 
One night they were both in a house with an evil com- 
panion, when one of them, named Bichard, returned home, 
leaving his companion there. After he got home, and had 
begun to undress, he remembered he had not that day 
said, some * Hail Marys ' that he was in the habit of re- 
citing. Feeling very sleepy he was loath to say them'; 
he did himself violence, and repeated them, though without 
devotion, and half asleep. He then laid down, and had 
fallen into a sound slumber, when he was suddenly roused 
by a violent knocking at the door, and without its open- 
ing he saw his companion deformed and hideous standing 
before him. *Who art thou?' he cried out. 'What! 
dofjt thou not know me?' *Ah! yes, but how thou 
art changed ; thou seemest to me a devil.' ' Truly,' te 

> Si , . . acoedam ad jadicmm, et matrem miseiioordise in causa mea habuero 
mccom. qtiifl judicem. dencgalnt propitimu?— /» Cant, cap, xxxix. 

* Si ^rmtX servum sunm domnare volnerit, per matma tuas piisidtiias, O Maria 
hoc faciat — Jlor. Sap. 1. i, c. 16.t 

' In te Domina spemvi, non confondar in »temTun.-»P#. tax, B. M. V, 

▲FTEB THia OUB kSlILB, fiTTO. Itl 

eauti&vpMxk^ 'poor unfiirtmiate creatui^ that I am, I am- 
4aipmed, •and how? When I was leaving* that wieked 
h/msQ a devil oame and steangled me : my body is in the 
aiii96i»^mid my soul ia heM ; and thou must blow/ added 
l|0»f that the same fate awaited thee had -not the Blessed 
Vii^glUi |»«seiT«d thee in consideration of that little act of 
honaage of the * Hail, Maiy/ Fortunate art thou if only 
tkpu knorwost how to take advantage of this warning sent 
thee by the Mother of God! ' With these words he opened 
his mantle, and showing the flames and serpents by which 
he wa0 toisneated, he disappeared. Eichard immediately 
burst into sobs and tears, and casting himself prostrate 
on the ground, he returned thanks to Mary, his pro- 
t€^trets ; and, whilst thinking how to ehange his life, he 
heard the bell. of the Franciscan monastery ringing for 
matins. *Ah! it is there,' says he, *that God calls me 
to do penance.' He went straight off to the convent, and 
implored the fathers to admit him. But they were hardly 
williog to do so, knowing his wicked life ; but he, sobbing 
bitterly^ told all that had taken place ; and two fathers 
b«ing sent to the street, and having found the strangled 
body, which was as black as a coal, they admitted him. 
From that time forward Eichard led a most exemplary 
life, and, at length, went to preach the gospel in the 
Indies ; and thence to Japan, where he had the happiness 
of giving his life for Jesus Christ, being burnt alive for 
the Mtii^ 


Mary, my most dear Mother, in what an abyss of 
evils should I not now be, if thouhadst not so many times 
delivered me with thy compassionate hand ! How many 
yfears ago should I not have been in hell, liadst thou not 
saved me by thy powerful prayers! My grievous sins 
thready drove me there ; Divine justice had already con- 
demned me; the devils already longed to execute the 

» Jj^cm it P. Alf. And, de Be^t. Virg,f 

Its AiKft taa oim Bsas,. msk 

seKieneei andf thin didrt flf to ny.aidi ami utn 
without being even called or asked. And what 
em I Mk» to ifaee» OoEiy btkwed piiBlectana>l»r 80>MUky 
fmrotufe, and fas sntli love? Thou alao didst lovamnm^thft 
haaxlneaa of Biy heait, and didst dnw meio Ay kat^, and 
to confidaioB in thee. And kito hewnuny. othermb 
fllMra&d I not hare faUen, if with thy oompasfliQiiate hsnd 
thou hadst not so often helped me in the dangcis mk9^ 
which I was on the poSnt of felling! GoB*uiue» O «gr 
hope, to preserve me from hell, and fiott the sins into 
which I may still fail. Never allow me to have: this m»* 
ftfftnne — ^to curse thee in hell. My beloved Lady, I love 
thee. Can thy goodness ever endure to see a aervaak of 
thine that loves thee lost ? Ah! then, obtun that I may 
never more be ungrateful to thee and to Iny God, vho» §at 
the love of thee has gmnted me so many graces. O Mteyi 
tell me, shall I be lost P Yes, if I abandon thee. Bat^< as 
this possible P Can I ever forget the love thou hast bdme 
me P Thou, after God, art the love of my soui. I eah ilO 
longer trust myself to live without loving thee; most 
beautiful, most holy^ most amiaUe, sweetest (»»aknre in the 
world, I re|)oioe in thy happiness, I love thee, and I liope 
always to love thee both in time and in eternity. Amen.' 

Section II. — Mary succours her C^ienis in Purffdiafy. 

Fortunate, indeed, are the clients of this most compass 
sionate Mother, for not only does she succour them in this 
world, but even in purgatory they are helped and com* 
fortad by her protection. And as in that prison, poor 
sbuis are in the greatest need of assistance, smi^ in thel|^ 
torments they cannot help themselves, oar Mother -of 
Mercy does proportionately more to relieve them. 8a!at 
Bemardine of Sienna, says, Hhat in that prison, where 
souls which are spouses o^ Jesus Christ are detaiae^ 
Mary has a certain dominion and plenitude <rf power, not 

/g^kadjafliA, w i th wnwe ttgi »tte tcM^I dw^givi^^liM iaan 

tafttf^'jn/ae ^rs«e»of tlie tea,''« adds, ^«hKt itii^ b]^ 
fWliii^ dnd^ndlBviBg tln^tteees^ties muL tonMnteof hef 
iNiai»;«to<«ie her ohiidreii/ ' He then Bays, HbsttlK 
]Miis'=:i)i. pRgatDiy ase oaHed waves, faecftofie thejr aiid 
tnnblt(»9r«i viiike the ^Miiiis of he&^wUoh ne9&t eudz and 
tkey vifr ei&d waves of the sea, because they are sd 
biter:> ' ^Bie 'Clients' of Manr, thus suffecing, are o^n 
mited-aadlelRfed hj her.' ^^See^ therefeie/ says Nova4 
imtmy- 1 oi whafxxmseqiieHoe it is to be the servant of i\aA 
good Hiidy,- for her servants^ she never lor^^ when th^^ 
wk sHfenngt bk theee.flames ; fctt'ithongfa Maiy vriieves all 
sofiMilg seiik m purgatory, yet she always? obtains far 
^eMleft: inehdgeiiee and nefief for her own clients.' ^ 
> n'Q}beiDiidne (Mother <mce addressed, these words to Saint 
Bridget: ' iam the* Mother of aii sonls in pnrgatory ; fov 
iihfthi^ pains that tbeyhave deserved' for their sins, are 
ei^esy hanr. aS'loBg as th^ remain there in some way niiti->- 
Iffted l)Jr my pitiyers.^ ^ The omnpossionate Mother even 
cmdeteends to go herself oecasionidly into that holy prison 
to visit and comfort her suffering children. Saint Bona- 
venture, applying to Mary the wcHrds of Ecclesiasticus, " I 
have penetrated into the bottom of the deep," • says, * the 
dec^^^ihat'^s, purgatory^ to relieve by my priesence the 
holy soids detained there.' ^ 'Oh, how courteous and 
bNi^^ds^the ^DOdsi Blessed Virgm,' says Saint Vindent 

''>^^ia'ifil«0, itr^tegiM pmrgaforu, <i«iiiiiiiiim tenet.-'Sarm. in, itlhrntUtf. 

"in ffiic^nu miiris anibulavi. — lEecles. xxiv, 8, • , . ' 

^^^'iff^Ui^M':^^,^ M cxi8tiuit> quia filii ^lu loni -~ ^t^iw, Jiil </< ^xt^u 
W WiiiinBil iiiiiafi I jil ^jgVfagiMBi colere ac Tcmjsai, cma oittonon tmrV9t 

eqiteDtinm, non obliviscatur; et licet, oiunibHs ogem-^ty 
'len pra^ne er^ft stios pnestat.— firty., Mnrfr. fo:#, Hvstfi. 

U«teilmp|er «pinitim qm suit in iMM^:i<|uia^si|i«yjj<H?S, 
r pg^ DdM^jy^peccatig,6iug, m qualiDet Bora proDter^recesjneas 
' flA%a]ttlif('LXrvrMf. if, ca^. 189. - • n*'... '^ <.'J'^'' 



Perrer, ' to those who suffer in purgatoiy ! throng her 
they constantly receire comfort and refreshment.' ^ 

And what other consolation have they in their suffer*- 
ings than Mar)', and the relief they receive from thb 
Mother of Mercy ? Saint Bridget once heard Jesus say 
to His holy Mother, ' Thou art^jny Mother, the Mother 
of Mercy, and the consolation of souls in purgat(»ry.' ^ 
The Blessed Virgin herself told the Saint, 'that as a 
poor sick person hedridden, suffering, and abandoned, is 
relieved by words of encouragement and ccmaolation, so 
are the souls in purgatory consoled and relieved by only 
hearing her name.' ^ The mere name of Mary, that name 
of hope and salvation, and which is frequently invoked by 
her beloved children in their prison, is a g^eat source of 
comfort to them; 'for,' says Novarinus, 'that loving 
Mother no sooner hears them call upon her, than she offer» 
her prayers to God, and these prayers as a heaveidy dew, 
immediately refresh them in their burning pains.' ^ 

Mary not only consoles and relieves her clients in pur- 
gatory, but she delivers them by hear prayers. Gerson 
says, 'that on the day of her assumption into heaven 
purgatory was entirely emptied.' Novannus eonfirms tiiis, 
saying, 'that it is maintained by many grave authors* 
that when Mary was going to heaven, she asked, as a 
favour from her Son, to take all the souls then in pur* 
gatory with her.' ^ * And from that time forward,' says* 
Gerson, 'Mary had the privilege of delivering her ser- 
vants.' Saint Bemardine of Sienna also positivdy ass^s, 
' that the Blessed Virgin has the power of delivering souls 

' Maria . . . bona de animabna ptirgatorii; quia per cam liabent sul&agiaia* 
— Serm. ii in Nat. B. V. 

' Tu efl Mater nica . . . tu Mater misericordiGet tu consolatio eonuzi qui sunt in 
pnrgatorio. — Lib. i, cap. 16. 

* not nomen cnm audiunt . . . flli, qtii in ptirgatorio sunt, ultra modum gaudent, 
tanqiiam seger in lecto jacens, si audierit ab aliqaibu» VGf bum solatii. — ^Lib. i, 
cap. 9. 

* Virginia notnen illamm pcenarmn refrlgerium est. Addit eadem Vii^ 
prices, Quibus veluti supero quodani rore, cruciatusilli magmmitigantur. — Vlrg* 
Uinbr. Bzc. lxxx\i. 

' Fenintquippebonffinotffiauctoi:es,Virginemmoriturani,in coelumqueituram, 
a Tilio hoc petnsse, ut omnes auimas qu£e in purgatoriu detiuebantur, gccum ad 
gloriam ducere posget.— ITmir . Virg. Exc, buavi. 


from purgaitoiyj but paiticularly those of her clients : by 
her prayers, and by applying her merits for them.'"! 
Norarinus says, * that by the merits of Mary, not only 
sere the pains of those souls lesseimd, but the tmae of their 
sufferings is shortened through her intercession.' * She 
has only to ask, and all is done. 

Saint Peter Damian relates, *that a lady, ndmed 
Mar ozia, appeared after her death to her godmother, and 
told her that on the feast of the Assumption, she, together 
with a multitude exceeding the population of Eome, had 
been delivered by Mary from purgatory.' ^ Denis the 
Carthusian says, * that on the feasts of the Nativity and 
Besurrection of Jesus Christ Mary does the same thing ; 
for on those days, accompanied by choirs of angels, she 
visits that prison, and delivers very many souls from their 
torments.'^ Novarinus says 'that he can easily believe 
that on all her own solemn feasts she delivers many souls 
from their suiFerings.' ^ 

The promise made by our Blessed Lady to Pope 
John XXII is well known. She appeared to him, and 
ordered him to make known to all, that on the Saturday 
alter their death she would deliver from purgatory all who 
wore the Carmelite scapular. This, as Father Crasset ® 
relates, was proclaimed by the same Pontiff in a Bull, 
which was afterwards confirmed by Alexander V, Clement 
VII, Kus V, Gregory XIII, and Paul V; and this 
latter, in a Bull of the year 1612, says, *that Chris- 
tian people may piously believe that the Blessed Virgin 
will help them after death, by her continual intercession, 

1 Ab lis tormentis liberat Beata Virgo, majdme devotos suos. — Serm, m de 
Nom. Mar. a. 2, c. S. 

^ Crediderim . . . omnibtis, qui in purgatricibus Olis flftmnii i T purgarunt, Mariro 
mentis, non solum leviores fuisse reditas illas .txBnas . . . sed et breviores con- 
tractioresque, adeo ut, cruciatuum tempus con&actum Virginis ope illis sit. — 
Jhibr. Fira. Exe. Ixxxvi. 

' iTom. fii, opusc. 34^ Diip. de far. App. etMlrac. cap. iii, 

^ Beatissima Vii|go>mgalisan]ii8,infestivitateNatiTitatisChTisti, ad purgntorii 
loca cum multitudme angelorum descendit, et multas inde auimas eripit. £tiam 
ittnocteDomimc«B«8tiJTectionis, solet descendere adpurgatorium,pro eductione 
animarom. — 8. Dion. Catt. Serm. vl de Assump. t 

« Facile autem crediderim, in Virginis honorem gaudiique cumulum, in quo- 
cnmqne Virginis festo, plurcs animas ab illis poenis eximi.— JKrc. Lxxxvi. 

« Tom. ii, div. d. B. Virg. tr. 6, prat. 4. 


her merits and special protection, and that on Saturdays, 
the day consecrated by the Church to her, she wiH, in a 
more particular mamier, help the souls of the brethren of 
the confraternity of our Blessed Lady of !Mount Carmel, 
who have departed this life in a state of grace, provided 
they have worn the habit, observed the chastity of their 
state, and recited her office : or, if they could not recite it, if 
they have observed the fasts of the church, and abstained 
from meat on aU Wednesdays except Christmas-day ! In 
the solemn office of our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel, 
we read that it is piously believed that the Blessed Virgin 
comforts the brethren of this confraternity in purgatory 
with maternal love, and that by her intercession she soon 
delivers them, and takes them to heaven.^ 

Why should we not hope for the same graces and favours, 
if we are devout clients of this good Mother ? And if 
we serve her with more special love, why can we not hope 
to go to heaven immediately after death, without even going 
to purgatory ? This really took place in the case of blessed 
Godfrey, to whom Mary sent the following message, by 
Brother Abondo : * Tell Brother Grodfrey to endeavour to 
advance rapidly in virtue, and thus he will belong to my 
Sou and to me ; and when his soul departs, I will not 
allow it to go to purgatory, but will take it and offer it to 
my Son.'^ And if we wish to relieve the holy souls in 
purgatory, let us do so by imploring the aid of our Blessed 
Lady in all our prayers, and especially by offering the 
-Rosary for them, as that relieves them greatly, as we shall 
see in the following example. 


Father Eusebius Nieremberg* says, * that in a city of 
Aragon, there was a beautiful young lady of noble birth, 
named Alexandra, who was courted by two young mfisi. 

^ Hatemo plane affectn, dura igne pnr^torii expianttir, solari, ac in ooelesten 
patriani obtentu suo qoantociua pie a'editor efferre.— /n fetto S, Mar, de M.o*U, 
Carm. xvi Jul. 

a III libr. de Gest. Fir. ill. Sol. Vinar. t 

« UYi^h. Mnriw. 1. ir, c. 29. t 

AFTER fftlS OUft fcXllE, ETC. 19 1 

Oul of jealousy, they one Say fought, and both were 
kilbbd) Their enraged relatives, considering the youn^ 
lady as the cause of this sad event, murdered her, cut on 
her head, and threw it into a well. Some days afterwards. 
Saint Dominic passing by the spot, and inspired by God, 
went to the well, and cried out, 'Alexandra, come forth.' 
In an instant the head of the murdered woman came up, 
aiid remained on the edge of the weU, and entreated the 
Saint to hear her confession. The Saint did so, and in 
the presence of an immense concourse of people, drawn 
there by the wonderful event, gave hei* communion. He 
then connmanded her to say for what reason she had re- 
ceived so great a gi-ace. Alexandra repliedj that when 
her head was cut off, she was in mortal sin ; but that, 
on aocoimt of the Rosary she was in the habit of saying 
in her honour, the most Blessed Virgin had kept her alive. 
The animated head remained for two days on the edge of 
the well, so as to be seen by all, and after that the soul 
went to purgatory. A fortnight afterwards Alexandra 
appeared, beautiful and shining, like a star, to Saint 
Dominic, and said, that the Eosar)^ recited for the soids 
in purgatory, is one of the greatest reliefs that they meet 
with in their torments ; and that, as soon as ever they get to 
heaven, they pray earnestly for those who have performed 
this devotion for them. As soon as she had said this, 
Saint Dominic saw her happy soul ascend, with the great- 
est joy, to the kingdom of the blessed. 


O Queen of Heaven and earth ! O Mother of the Lord 
of the world ! O Mary, of all creatures, the greatest, the 
moat exalted, ^d the most amiable! it U true, tbdt. there 
ioe many in this world who neither know thee, nor love 
thee ; but in liea/ren, there aro many millions of tm^U, 
mi blessed spirits, who love and praise thee continually. 
Even in this world, how many happy souls are there not, 
who bum with thy love, and live enamoured of thy good- 
ness ! Oh, that I also could love thee, O Lady, worthy of 

17 § 


all love. Oh that I could always Temember to serve tliee, 
to praise thee, to honour thee, and engage all to love thee. 
Thou hast attracted the love of God, whom, by thy beauty, 
thou hast, so to say, torn from the bosom of his Eternal 
Father, and engaged to become man, and be thy Son. 
And shall I, a poor worm of the earth, not be enamoured 
of thee? No, my most sweet Mother, I also will love 
thee much, and will do all that I can to make others lave 
thee also. Accept then, O Mary, the desire that I have 
to love thee, and help me to execute it. I know how 
favourably thy lovers are looked upon by God. He, after 
His own glory, desires nothing more than thine, and to 
see thee honoured and loved by all. From thee, O Lady, 
do I expect all ; through thee the remission of my sins, 
through thee perseverance. Thou must assist me at death, 
and deliver me from purgatory ; and finally, thou must 
lead me to heaven. All this thy lovers hope from thee, 
and are not deceived. I, who love thee with so much 
affection, and above all other things, after God, hope for 
the same favours. 

Section III. — Mary leads lier Servants to Heax^en. 

Oh, what an evident mark of predestination have the 
servants of Mary! The holy church, for the consola- 
tion of her clients, puts into her mouth the words, of 
Ecclesiasticus, **In aU these I sought rest, and I shall 
abide in the inheritance of the Lord.*'^ Cardinal Hugo 
explains these words, and says, 'Blessed is he in whose 
house the most Holy Virgin finds repose.'^ Mary, out of 
the love she bears to all, endeavours to excite in all devo- 
tion towards herself; many either do not admit it into 
their souls, or do not preserve it. But blessed is he that 
receives, and preserves it. "And I shall abide in the 

1 In his omnibtcr requiem quaenvi, et in hftreditate BiomJai munkor.—Sccl^^ 

jtKW, 11. 

* ^entus in ctgus domo requiem iavcnerit. — In Lib. Eccles. cap. xxiv, ■ 

ABTEK THIS 09& fiXXLS, WC. 199 

Joberitaaoeof the Lord." * That is/ adds the Cardinal, 
' in those who are the iBheritance of our Lord.' Devotion 
^towards the Blessed Virgin, remams in all who are the 
inheiitance of our Lord : that is to say, in all who will 
. praise him eternally in heaven. Mary continues speaking 
in the words of Ecclesiasticus : "He that made me rested 
ia my tabernacle, and he said to me : Let thy dwelling be 
ill Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in 
nay elect. "^ That is, my Creator has condescended to 
come and repose in my bosom, and His wiU is, that I 
should, dwell in the hearts of all the elect (of whom Jacob 
was a figuxe, and who are the inheritance of the Blessed 
Yiigin), and that devotion and confidence in me should 
take root in all the predestined. Oh, how many blessed 
souls are there now in heaven, who would never have 
been there had not Mary, by her powerful intercession, 
led them thither: — "I made that in the heavens there 
should rise light that never faileth."^ Cardinal Hugo, 
in his commentary on the above text of Ecclesiasticus, 
says, in the name of Mary, * I have caused as many lights 
to shine eternally in heaven as I have clients ;* and then 
he adds, ' There are many Saints in heaven through her 
intercession, who would never have been there but through 
her.'* Saint Bonaventure says, * that the gates of heaven 
will open to all who confide in the protection of Mary.'* 
Hence, Saint Ephrem calls devotion to the Divine Mother, 
*the unlocking of the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem.'^ 
The- devout Blosius also, addressing our Blessed Lady, 
says, * To thee, O Lady, are committed the keys and the 
treasures of the kingdom of heaven.'® And therefore we 
ought constantly to pray to her, in the wxrds of Saint 
Ambrose, * Open to us, Mary, the gates of paradise, 

. ^ Qni crearit me icquievit ia tabeniaciilo meo ; et dixU^milii : In Jacob ialialiita, 
ot inlLsrael heereditare, et in electis meis initte radices. — Ecclrs. xxiv, 13, 13. 

* Si^afcci iti ooditf nt oriretnr lumen uideficieBB.— JSSnct^i. xxir, 6. 

• ' 3iulii . . . saikcti sunt in coolia interoessione ^U3, qui nnoquauL M foiasent 
nisi per earn. — In Lib. EccUs. cap. xxiv. 

♦ Qui speraverit in ilia, porta paradisi reaerabitnr ei. — In Fs. xc tte B. M. V. 
^ Vortanun ccaleBtia panidiBi reseoramentiutt. — Oral, dc Lund. Virg. 

*» Tib) rpgni poclestia clavea thesaurique commissi sunt. — Farad. An* P, ii, 
pap. 4, 

srhx^' Won ia^ii ftsi :keys.'^ Nay, liibTe, life 'Cm^^ ^f^, 
nM fMou art it^ gate.' , .^ . 

"■poi* tbe same reasdti, again, Is this great Mbthe'r (iallfed, 
bjr iU Chiirch, the- Star of the Sea, * Hail, Stftr df thfe S^a!' 
' Fbf ,' says the angelical Saint Thomas, * a^ i^a ilots are 
guided by a star to the port, so ate Christians guided tt) 
heayen by Mary.'^ 

For the same reason, finally, is She called, by Saint 
Peter Damian, *the heavenly ladder.' * For,* says the Saint, 
*by Mary God descended tern hearen into the world, 
that by her men might ascend from earth to heaven.*^ 
* And thou, O Lady,' says Saint Athanasius, ' Wast flllisd 
with grace, that thou mightest be the way of our sal- 
vation, and the means of ascent to the heavenly king- 
dom.'* Saint Bernard calls our Blessed Lady ' the heavenly 
chariot.'^ And Saint John Geotnetra salutes her, saying, 
'Hail, resplendent car!'® signifying, that she is the car 
in which h^r clients mount to heaven. * Blessed are thfey 
who know thee, O Mother of God,' says Saint Boiia- 
vienture ; * for the knowledge of thee is the high road to 
everlasting life, and the publication of thy virtues is the 
way of eternal salvation.*^ 

In the Franciscan chronicles it is related, that brother 
Leo once saw a red ladder, on the summit of which was 
Jesus Christ ; and a white one, on the top of which was 
His most holy Mother ; and he saW some who tried to 
ascend the red ladder, and they mounted a few steps, and 
fell — ^they tried again, and again fell. They were then 
advised to go and try the white ladder, and by that one 
they easily ascended, for our Blessed Lady stretched out 

1 Aperi nobis, Virgo, coeluin cujus claves habes. f 

* Convenit ei nomen Maria, qnae intcrpretatur stella maris: quia siciit per 
stellam maris navigantes diriguntiir ad portum, ita Christiani toiguntur per 
Mariata ad gtoriam. — Opvsc. vui. 

3 Scala ccBlestis, per quam Supernus Rex humiliatus, adima descendit, et homo 
qui prostratua jaeebat, ad supema exaltatus, asrendlt. — ffom. hi Nat. B. M. V. 

'♦Ave gratiowa Domintis tecum: quod facta sis nobis salutis \\i\; ascensusque 
ad supcros. — Serm. i in Annnnc. B. M. V. 

* IHbi vehiculum vdhiit providere. — S^rm.. de Aqimd. 

6 Gaude . . . clarissime currus.— JHymw. 1 in Virff.Deifi. 
7'Scii-e et cognoscere te, est radix iBamorttditatis : et en&ixare virtutes tuas cat 
via saluti8.*-^P*. Ixxxr, B. M. V. 


her hand aad helped them, and so they got safely to heaven. 
Denis the Carthusian asks, * Who is there that is saved ? who 
is there that r^gns in heaven? ' And he answers, ' They are 
Ibrtainly saved and reign in heaven for whom this Queen 
of mercy intercedes.'^ And this, Mary herself confirms in 
the book of Proverbs, "By me kings reign;"^ through ray 
intercession souls reign, first in this mortal life by ruling 
their passions, and so come to reign eternally in heaven, 
where, says Saint Augustine, 'AH are kings. '-^ * Mary, in 
fine,' says Eichard of Saint Lawrence, * is the mistress of 
heaven ; for there she commands as she wills, and admits 
whom she wills.' and applying to her the words of 
Ecclesiasticus : "And my power was in Jerusalem,"* he 
makes her say, * I command what I will, and introduce whom 
I will.'^ Our Blessed Lady, being Mother of the Lord of 
Heaven, it is reasonable that she also should be sovereign 
Lady of that kingdom, according to Eupei-t, who says, 
'that by right she possesses the whole kingdom of her 
Son.'^ Saint Antoninus tells us * that this Divine Mother 
has already, by her assistance and prayers, obtained heaven 
for us, provided we put no obstacle in the way.' 7 Hence 
says the Abbot Gnarric, * He who serves Mary, and for 
whom she intercedes, is as certain of heaven as if he was 
already there.'® Saint John Damascen also says, ' that 
to serve Mary and be her courtier is the greatest honour 
we can possibly possess ; for, to serve the Queen of 
Heaven is already to reign there, and to live under her 
commands is more than to govern.'^ On the other 

^ Quis salvatur ? quia legnat in ccdo ? illi sane pro quibus Regina misericoriUw 
intmiellat. t 

• Per me reges regnant.— Prop, viii, 15. 
> Quot cives tot reges. t 

* m Jerusalem poteatas mea. — Eccles. xxiv, 15. 

^ Imperando scilicet, quidquid volo . . . et quos volo iatrodnccudo. — J)e LatuL 
Virff. Int. iv, cap. 4. 

^ Begina coelonun totnm jure ^sidena Filii return. — Lib. iii in Cant. 

7 Coueste nobis regnum suo interventu, auxUUs ct precibus impetravit.— <?. 
Jilt. P. iv, tit. 15, c. 2, \ 1. t" 

* Qui Virgini famulatur, ita securus est de paradiso ac si essct in paradiso.-^ 
Giterrictu abbas, t 

• Summus honor servire Mariae, et de ejus esse fanulia. Etenun ei servire 
regnarc est, et ejus agi fraenis plusqnara rcg^um, — J>ama9c. 4c JEif • T. Lx. I 


hand, he adds, ' that those yrho do not serve Mary will 
not be saved ; for those niio are deprived of the help of 
this great Mother are also depriTed of that of her Son 
and of the whole court of heaven.'* * May the infinite 
goodness of our Lord be ever praised/ says Saint Bernard, 
' for having been pleased to give us Mary as our advocate 
in heaven, that she being at the same time the Mother 
of our Judge and a Mother of mercy, may be able, by 
her intercession, to conduct to a prosperous issue the 
great affair of our eternal salvation/ ^ Saint James, a 
doctor of the Greek church, says, *that God destined 
Mary as a bridge of salvation, by using which, we might 
with safety pass over the stormy sea of this world, and 
reach the happy haven of paradise.'^ Therefore, Saint 
Bonaventure exclaims, *Give ear, O ye nations, and all 
you who desire heaven, serve, honour Mary, and certainly 
you will find eternal life.' * 

Nor should those eved who have deserved hell, be in 
the least doubtfiil as to obtaining heaven, provided they 
are faithful in serving this Queen. * Oh, how many sinners,' 
says Saint Germanus, * have found God and have been 
saved by thy means, O Mary ! '^ Richard of Saint Law- 
rence remarks, that Saint John in the Apocalypse says, 
that Mary was crowned with stars : " And on her head a 
crown of twelve stars." ^ On the other hand, in the 
sacred Canticles, she is said to be crowned with wild beasts, 
lions and leopards : " Come from Libanus, my spouse, come 
from Libanus, come ; thou shalt be crowned . . . from the 
dens of the lions, from the mountains of the leopards." ^ 

1 6en« quae non Bcrvierit illi, peribit. Gentes destitutae tantee Matris atixilio, 
destituuntur auxilio YiUi et totius curia coelestis, — Zoc. cit. t 

* Advocatam pnemisit pcregrinatio nostra : quae tamquam Judicis Mater et 
mater misericoraie, fliippUciter et efticaciter salutis DOstrse]iegotiapertracta]l}ii.— 
Serm. i de As9. 

> £am tu pontcm fecisti, quo a mundi fluctibus tr^icientes, ad tianqiuQum 
portum tuum pervcniamus. — In Nat. Deip. 

* Audite IwEC omnes gentes ... qui ingredi cupitia regntim Dei. Virginem 
Mariam honorate : et invenietis vitam et salutem pftrpetuam. — Ps. xlviii, JB. M.f, 

5 Per te peccatores exquisierunt Deum, et salvi iacti sunt. — In Dorm. B. V 
Orat. ft. 

* Et in capite ejus corona stellarum duodecim — Afoc. xii, 1. 

7 Veni de Libano, sponsa mca, veni de Libano,yeni : coronaberifl de cubillbus 
leonum, de montibus pardoram.— Cla«^ ir, 8. 


How is this ? He answers, that ' these wild beasts are 
sinners, who by the favour and intercession of Mary 
have become stars of paradise, better adapted to the head 
of this Queen of J^Iercy than all the material stars of 
heaven/^ We read in the life of the servant of God, sister 
Seraphina of Capri, that onoe during the novena of the 
Assumption of Maiy, she asked our Blessed Lady for 
tlie conversion of a thousand sinners, but afterwards 
thought tliat she had asked too much, and then the 
Blessed Virgin appeared to her, and corrected her for her 
ungrounded anxiety, saying, ' Why dost thou fear, is it 
that I am not sufficiently powerful to obtain from my Son 
the conversion of a thousand sinners P See, I have already 
obtained the favour.' With these words, she took her 
in spirit to heaven, and there showed her innumerable 
souls which had deserved hell, but had been saved through 
her intercession, and were already enjoying eternal hap- 

It is true that in this world no one can be certain of 
his salvation : " Man knoweth not whether he be worthy 
of love or hatred," says the Ecclesiastes.^ But Saint 
Bonaventure, on the words of King David, " Lord, who 
shall dwell in thy tabernacle?"-' and on the preceding 
quotation, answers, 'Sinners, let us follow Maiy closely, and 
casting ourselves at her feet, let us not leave them until 
she has blessed us ; for her blessing will ensure our salva- 
tion.'* 'It suffices, O Lady,' says Saint Anselm, *that 
thou wiliest it, and our salvation is certain.'^ And Saint 
Antoninus says, * that souls protected by Mary, and on which 
she casts her eyes, are necessarily justified and saved.' ^ 

1 £t quid est hoc ? nisi qnoA tetm per gratiam et orationes Mariie fiant stellfp, 
ut conreniant capiti tantee rcginm — Ik Laud. V. lib. iii, cap. 13. 

' Neftcit homo, ntmin amore an odk> dignnfl sit. Sed omnia in fatixmm ser- 
vantur incertA. — EceUnast. ix, 1, 2. 

* Bomine, qim habitabit in tabernaculo tuo P — Ps. xi?, 1. 

4 Amplectamnr Maris vestqpJA peccatorefl : et (gna beatia pedibus DroTolvamur. 
TeneamnBeamfortiter, nee dimittamua donee ab ea meroimua beneoicL^Ps. xir 

B. M. r. 

* Turtommodo . . . veUs nlutem noitram, et vere nequaqtiam bqIti etae non 
poterimoB. — De Exc. Vtrg. ca^. vi. 

* Necesiarinm est quod hi, ad quos (Maria) convertit ocnloi •not, pro eis 
adrocans, justificeutar et glonficentar.~-r. iv« Tit. xt, c. 17« 

*With reason, tiiei-efore,' obaciTes Saint Ii<kphonsu% 
'did the u:ost holy A'irgiu predict tliat all genexatioii^ 
would call her blessed;'^ 'for all the elect obtain eternal 
salvation through the means of Maiy.'^ 'And thou, 
great Mother/ says Saint Methodius, 'lurt the beginning, the 
middle, and the end of our happiness ;' ^ — the beginning, 
for Maiy obtains us the pardon of our sins ; the middk, 
for she obtains us perseverance in Divine grace ; and the 
end, for she finally obtains us heaven. ' By thee, O Mary, 
was heaven opened,' says Saint Bernard ; * by thee was 
hell emptied, by thee was paradise restored, and through 
thee, in fine, is eternal life given to so many miserable 
creatures who deserved eternal death.'* 

But that which above all should encourage us to hope 
with confidence for heaven, is the beautiful promise made 
by Mary herself to all who honour her, and e^cially to 
those who, by word and example, endeavour to make ber 
known and honoured by others : " They that work by me, 
shall not sin ; they that explain me, shall have life ever- 
lasting."** *0h happy they who obtain the favour of 
Mary !' exclaims Saint Bonaventure; * they will be recog- 
nised by the blessed as their companions and whoever 
bears the stamp of a servant of Mary, is already enrolled 
in the Book of Life.'® Why then should we trouble our- 
selves about the opinions of scholastics as to whether 
predestination to glory precedes or follows the provision 
of merits ? If we are true servants of Mary, and obtain 
her protection, we most certainly shall be inscribed in the 
Book of Life ; for, says Saint John Damascen, ' God only 
grants devotion towards His most holy Mother to those 
whom He will save.' This is also clearly expressed by our 

1 Beatom me dicent omnes generationes. — Luc. i, 48. 

* Beata jure didtur, quia omnes ex ea beatificantor.— Serm. iii ir Awmpi. t 

> Tu Bolemnitatis nosti^ exordiimi, tu medium, tu finis. — Ik Simeofie et Jnn^. 

* Per te . . . coelum repletum infernus 'eFacnatna eat: instauratte roinffi 
OQBlestiB Jenualem : expeotantibna miseris vita peidita data.*— &n». iv de Juunm. 
B. Virg. 

* Qm operantnr in me, non peccabunt. Qui ehiddBnt me, vitam ietci-nasa 
habebunt— JPcci. xxiv, 30, .SI. 

* Qui acquirit gratiam Mariee, afi;noscetar a civibus jiaradisi, et wl babuerit 
cbaracterem nominia ejus : adnotabitur in libra vitee.-^Pf. xd de B. V. M, 

Lotd in Saint Jbhii : "He tliat sbafi overcome ... 1 will 
write upon Mm the name of my God, and tlie name of tlie 
cJty of my God.'** And who but Maiy is this city 61 
Ood? ' observes Saint Gregory, on the words of David : 
"Qiorions things are said of thee, O city of God.*** 

Correctly then can we here say with Saint Panl, "Hav- 
ing this stiiy the Lord knoweth who are His ;" that is to 
say, whoever carries with him the mark of devotion to 
Mjuy is recogmsed by God as His. Hence Saint Bernard 
writes, *that devotion to the Mother of God is a most 
certain mark of eternal salvation.* ^ Blessed Alan, speak- 
ing of the "Hail Mary," also says, 'that whoever often 
honours our Blessed Lady with this angelical salutation 
has a very great mark of predestination.'* He says 
the same thing of perseverance in the daily recital of the 
Bosary, 'that those who do so have a very great assur- 
ance of salvation.' * Father Nieremberg says, in the 10th 
chapter of his book, on affection for Mary, ' that the ser- 
vants of the Mother of God are not only privileged and 
favoured in this world, but even in heaven they are more 
particularly honoured.' He then adds, 'that in heaven 
they win be recocnused as servants of its Queen, and as 
belonging to her court, by a distingmshkg and riclier 
garment,' according to the words of Proverbs, "All her 
domesdcs are clothed with double garments." ^ 

Saint Mary Magdalen of Pazzi saw a vessel in the 
midst of the sea : in it were all the clients of Maiy, 
and this Blessed Mother herself steered it safely into 
the port. By this the Saint understood, that those who 
live undet the protection of Mary, are secure in the 
midst of the dangers of this life mm the shipwreck of 
sin, and firom eternal damnation; for she guides them 

' Qtf fioflnt . . . tctibvon nipn ram nomeii Dei mei, tt nometi civitatis Dei 
mA>^Jpoe. SL Is. 

* CMoti ttetft ranftf ae te, cSvltaa Jki.'^Pt. Ixxxvi, S. 

. 9' CIMuiMluii ttt lApLJoa. Mlutif tetenuB conseqaendce. t 

* Habentes derotioiiem banc. Rieniun est pnedestinationis peimagiinm ad 
ilttiaJA>.Pjii;j8«.c.ll. t ^ " 

* Signnni »it tibi probabilissimmn sternse salutris, si persm'enmter (& dfle 
iMMtttftiVtlwim in ^mMo Mlutaverii.— I^. Ixiv d* FMft. c. S4. t 

6 Omoea ^ixa doai^tlcl esJos vtititi mxd dn](kllcibttB.— 'Protr, xxxi/dl'. 



safely into the haTen of saLvation. Let us then enter this 
blessed ship of the mantle of Mary, and there we can be 
certain of the kingdom of heaven for the Chnrch says, * O 
' holy Mother of God, all those who wiU be partal^rs of 
eternal happiness dwell in thee, living under thy protec* 
tion,* 1 


Blessed Joachim Piccolomini had always a most tender 
devotion for Mary, and from his childhood was in the 
habit of visiting an image of our Blessed Lady of Sorrows, 
which was in a neighbouring church, three times a day, 
and on Saturdays, in her honour, he abstained from all 
food ; and, in addition to this, he always rose at midnight 
to meditate on her dolours. But let us now see how 
abundantly this good Mother recompensed him. In the 
first place, when he was a young man she appeared to him, 
and desired him to embrace the order of her servants, and 
this the holy young man did. Again, in the latter years 
of his life, she appeared to him with two crowns in her 
hands ; the one was composed of rabies, and this was to 
reward him for his compassion for her sorrows ; the other 
of pearls, as a recompense for his virginity, which he vowed 
in her honour. Shortly before his death she once more 
appeared to him, and then the Saint begged, as a favour, 
that he might die on the same day on which Jesus Christ 
had expired. Our Blessed Lady immediately gratified him, 
saying: • It is well ; prepare thyself; for to-morrow, Good 
Fnday, thou shalt die suddenly as thou desirest — ^to-mor- 
row thou shalt be with me in heaven.* And so it was ; for 
the next day, during the singing of the passion according 
to Saint John, at the words, ** Now there stood by the 
cross of Jesus, His Mother," he fell into the last struggles 
of death ; and at the words, "He bowed down his head 
and expired," the Saint also breathed his last; and in 
the same moment the whole church was filled^ ydih |in 
extraordinary light, and the most delicious perfume.^ 

^ Sicnt latantinm (Miiiiiiim h^bitttao est in te, Mneto Dei <3«iiitin; 
s BMngn. FieOt Ostfq. t 



O Qaeen of heaven. Mother c^ holy love! since thou art 
the most amiable of creatures, the most beloved of God, 
and His greatest lover, be {deased to allow the most 
miserable sinner living in this world, who, having by thy 
means been delivered from heU, and without any merit on 
his part been so benefited by thee, and who is filled with 
love for thee, to love thee. I would desire, were it in 
my power, to let all men who know thee not, know how 
worthy thou art of love, that all ndght love and honour 
thee. I would desire to die for the love of thee, in 
defence of thy virginity, of thy dignity of Mother of 
God, of thy immaculate conception, should this be neces- 
sary, to uphold these thy great privileges. Ah ! my most 
beloved Mother, accept this my ardent desire, and never 
allow a servant of thine, who loves thee, to become the 
enemy of thy God, whom thou lovest so much. Alas ! 
poor me, I was so for a time, when I offended my Lord. 
But, then, O Mary, I loved thee but little, and strove but 
little to be beloved by thee. But now there is nothing 
that I so much desire after the grace of God as to love, 
and be beloved by thee. I am not discouraged on account 
of my past sins, for I know that thou, O most benign and 
gracious Lady, dost not disdain to love even the most 
wretched sinners who love thee; nay, more, that thou never 
allowest thyself to be surpassed by any in love. Ah ! 
Queen, most worthy of love, I desire to love thee in 
heaven. There, at thy feet, I shall better know how 
worthy thou art of love, how much thou hast done to save 
me, and thus I shall love thee with greater love, and love 
thee eternally, without fear of ever ceasing to love thee. 
O Mary, I hope, most certainly, to be saved by thy means. 
Pray to Jesus for me. Nothing else is needed ; thou hast 
to save me ; thou art my hope. I will therefore always 
sing, O Mary, my hope, thou hast to save me. 



Of the greeUneM of the Ctemencj^ OMd Con^^amtn^ <^ Mary, 

Cl AINT Bernard, speaking of the great compassion of 
C^ Mary towards us poor creatures, says, * that she is 
the land overflowing with milk and honey, promised hy 
God.'^ Hence Saint Leo observes, 'that the Blessed 
Virgin has so merdful a heart, that she deserves not only 
to be called merdful, but mercy itself.'' Saint Bona* 
venture, ako, considering that li£aiy was made Mother of 
God on account of the miserable, and that to her is com* 
mitted the charge of dispensing mercy; considering, 
moreover, the tender care she takes of idL, and that her 
compassion is so great, tiiat she seems to have no other 
desire than that of relieving the needy ; says, that when 
he looks at her, he seems no longer to see the justice of 
God, but only the Divine Mercy, of which Mary is full. 

* O Lady, when I behold thee, I can only discern mercy, 
for thou wast made Mother of God for the wretched, and 
then thou wast intrusted with their charge : thou art aU 
solicitude for them ; thou art walled in with mercy ; thy 
only wish is to show it.'^ In line, the compassion of 
Mary is so great towards us, that the Abbot Guarric says, 

* that her loving heart can never remain a moment without 
bringing forth its fruits of tenderness.' * * And what,* 

i Terra repromuaioniB Maria, lacte et melle naanani.— iSerm. snp. Salv. Btg. 

' Maria moo praedita est misericordiee visceribiu, ut non tuitoin misericon, 
fled ipsa miseruxmUa dici promereatnr. — Serni^. i ie Nat. Dom. t 

' Uerte Doinina, com te aspicio, nihil nisi miBericordiam cemo. Tfasa. pro 
muieris Mater Dei facta ei, miaericordiam insuper genuiati, et demnin tibi mise- 
rendi est offlcium conuuiasum. Undique sollicita de miseriSy undiqne miaeiicordia 
vallaiifl ; solom misereri tu videris appetere — Slim. Am. p. iii, cap. 19. 

* Cujns viscera . . . nnnqoam dcsiount^fjrDptiiin partnnre pi0iatis.-'5^ni, i dt 


exclaiins Saint Bertiard, ' can ever flow from a source of 
compassion but compassion itself.'^ Mary is also called 
an olive-tree. "As ^ fair olive-tree on the plains."^ For, 
as from the olive, oil (a symbol of mercy) alone is extracted, 
so, from the hands of Mary graces and mercy alone pro- 
ceed. Hence the venerable Father Louis de Ponte 
says, * that Maiy may properly be called the Mother of 
OU, since she is the Mother of Mercy.* ^ And thus, when 
we go to this good Mother for the oil of her mercy, we 
cannot fear that she will deny it to us, as the wise villus in 
the Gospel did to the foolish ones : ** Lest perhaps there be 
tiot enough for us and for you."* no 1 for she is indeed 
tfcll in this oil of mercy, as Saint Bonaventure assures us, 
*Mary is filled with the oil of compassion.'^ She 
is cafled by the Church, not only a prudent Virgin> but 
fiiost prudent, that we may understand, says Hugo of 
Saint' Victor, that she is' so fall of grace and compassion, 
that she can supply aU, without losing any herself. * Thou, 
O Blessed Virgin, art fall of grace, and indeed so fiiU, that 
the whole world may draw of this overflowing oil.' * For 
jf the prudent Virgins provided oil in vessels, with their 
latnps, thou, O most prudent Virgin, hast borne an over- 
■flowing and inexhaustible vessel, from which, the oil of 
'inercy streaming, thou replenishest the lamps of aU.** 

But why, I ask, is this beautiful olive tree said to stand 
in the midst of the plains j and not rather in the midst 
of a garden, surrounded by a wall and hedges ? The same 
Hugo of St. Victor tells us, that it is * that all may see her, 
thiat all may go to her for reftige."' That all may see her 

' •' '^ Qtud de fonte pietatis prooederet, nisi pietM? — Serm. i in D. post Bp. 

', Mento dici potest Mater Old* nam est Mater Uisericordise. + 

<* Tf e i(»rte non sufficiat nobia fit robid. — Mattk, xx, 9. 

s Mana plena est . . . oleo pietatia. — Spec. B. M. V. Lect. vii. 

^ Gratia ^ena, in tanttim ptena, at ex tuo redundante, totns kauriat mundus. 
'Si enim "prndentes Virgines oleum, accepenmt in vasis siub cnmlampadibus :'* 
tu . ppidentissima Vir^ et Virgo Virginum, non unma tantnm vaa habuisti 
olcb graiite replettun, quo lampadem tuam inextinguibiliter ardentem autrir»s : 
. 8cd aliud gestasti vas rednndaHS et indefidens, ex ^ao effnao oleo miaeiiaoxdiee 
x>mnit(m lampadea illaminares.*— Z>ff Verb. Inc. ColL ui. 

7 I'uit Beata Maria oliva per misericordiam . . . £t bene in eampis i . . nt 
bmnes peecatores ad ipsam libere, et absque impedlmento respiciant, ad ipsam 
confagiant. — Serm. iv de Au. B. V. 

18 § 

eMify Aitd-as easier have Teconirse to ]ier,iix> oblaiii 7^me^ 
dAe!^'fot all tkek UU. Tliis bedtitiful explanation is eooi-^f 
ihtti^ by Saiiit Antooitius, who says, ' that all can gd tov" 
aiid gather the fruit of an olive tree, that is exposed in tiie' 
mlclst of a plain, and thus all, both just and siniiers, canhsve; 
recoHirseto Mary, to obtain her mercy.' ^ He then i^dds^ 
* Oh how-many sentences of condemnation has not this most 
Blessed Virgin revoked by her compassionate prayers, iii 
favour of sinners who have had recourse to her !'* ' And* 
what safer refuge,' says the devout Thomas a Kempis, 
' can we ever fiud than the compassionate heart of Mary P 
there the poor find a home, the infirm a remedy, thd 
afflicted relief, the doubtful counsel, and the abandoned 

Wretched, indeed, should we be, had we not this Mother 
of Mercy always attentive and solicitous to roHere ua in 
our wants! "Where there is no woman» he moumeth 
that is in want,"'* says the Holy Ghost. * This wonum^^ 
says Saint John Damascen, ' is precisely the most Blessed 
Virgin Mary ; and wherever this most holy woman is noJ>, 
the sick man groans.' '' And surely it eannot be othcov 
wise, since all graces are dispensed at the psayer of Mary» 
and where tliis is wanting, there can be no hope of Mfircyi 
as our Lord gave Saint Bridget to understand in thesb 
words : ' Unless the prayers of Mary interposed, there 
could be no hope of mercy.' ^ 

But perhaps we fear that Mary does not see, or does 
not feel for, our necessities ? O no, she eeea and feeb 
them far better than we do ourselves. * There is not one 
amcMigst all the Saints/ says Saint Antoninns^ ^^^ho^csa^ 

1 Ad oliram qiuc est spedosa in campis, omnes poesant aeeedefe, tt aecraierd 
fructnin ejus : sic ad Mariam et jnsti et peccatores aecedere pOssttnt, tit mdjB 
2ui«enoonUam acd^iajit.^P. iii. Tit. xxxi, cap. 4. '••-.> 

' * quot sententia terribilium flagellornm, qufie meruit mtmdoapttKpt^peccata 
sua, jicec sanctissima Virgo misericorditer revocavit. — P. iii^ T^t,. xxti, cap. 4. 

' Non est tutior locus ad latendnm quam sinus Mailte . . . Ibi pauper ^abet 
doiuicilium, ibi iullrmus invenit rcmediuni, ibi tristis accipit solAtiun^ ; ibi titr^attia 

.. .....„..v ^ „., ^^. ... - .. .». '''' ^ 

^ posi proces Mhtris mete irSetveliirent, non essct spes iiiisifriCoi"dfjfe.~J^«r, 
lib. vi, cap. SO. . ' * ■,.,.,.•• 

O' sbntuiT, «i nous,. 31^ 

evm feeL6)i:ua iiLQur ■iatdBt, botii coipoE»laiid<qtiiit4wl, 
ma»this««)iiiBii,tfaeinortBkatedTii^3£4][.'' Somuoh 
sfM,:titat jtherBf-wheie Aa sees miaerr, she, caiwot do gtitf^- 
vise Hub imtai^y Sy and reiieve it iriUi ker tendfi codit- 
jtnwrfnii '' KicfaaidoCSamt Victor lopeatfi the Btune tblo^ 
^HSUendoEa says, 'Thraefore, O moat Blessed Virgin^ tltou 
diapDiBest.ihy nuzciBS irith a georatms liaod, wheiever 
tkottwast neoesaities.'' Out good Mothei, herself, pro-' 
toatfi that sheirill nevetoease to fulfil this ofiice of men^i 
"&fti imta Aewadita come I shall aot cease to be, and 
ill thfrholy dveliiDg'pIace I have ministered before him."'* 
That is, as Caidinal Hugo exphuus, ' I will sever cease 
OntiitJie end of the nodd, relieving the miseries of miBni 
and praying for sinners,'^ that they may be delivered ftota 
ctemal miserj', and be saved. 

' Suetoninsielates, that the Emperor Titos vas so desirous 
of roBdering service to those who applied to him, that, 
Whoiaday passed wilhont his being able to grant a favoui, 
be Bsed to say with sorrow, 'I have lost a day; for 1 have 
spent it without bene&ting any one.* It is probable that 
Titaa apolcB thus more from vanity, and the desire of being 
esteemed,: than from true charity. But should such a 
thing happen to our Empress Mary, as Ut have to pass a 
di^'withtnit granting a grace, she would speak as Titns 
di^ but from a true desire to serve us, and because she is 
full of cliarity. ' So much so, indeed,' says Bemardine de 
Bulist that she is more omdous to grant us graces than 
»e «re to lecmve thorn ' ' And therefore,' says the same 

n^ JTon, Hpentur aUqxiat gadoium.ila comintli. el ndjdTsrc ia mfirmiUtibui 
IpMiUiniu el r!MpnfainiiiS sgrii pemnii, nnt midialiK beitl Virg* Hula. 

* iensL, tu-i et eurriC. rt mccorit niiserieordia. — tn Cant. 

elTni^i f I r !. i \o.lJ. 

" 1 iqae aii fn run BVTiiliuii i|Da(l eit vecQjum butonm, aim daaKin 
matt a nu rciur I uu tla i]ilniduc«Kj et pro pcccaUmbiu or^rv. — In Caf^ udr 

* Tin enka fluuTerat Epia facFrt tibf boonm. e( 1u^ aliquiiii gratino, qHMik 

2\2 O bUBlCS^T, O ^lOt^S. 

anthor, ^ wlieacver we go to het, we always find het liands 
filled with mercy and liberality. *1 

Bebecca was a figure of Maiy 5 and she, when asked by 
Atfraham'a servant, for a little water to drink, replifed, 
that not only wonld she give Mm plenty foi* himself, bat 
also for his cainels, saying : ** I will draw water fbr 
thy camels also, till they all drink.'** On these 1v6¥ds 
Saint Bernard addresses onr Blessed Lady, saying : * O 
Mary, thou art far more liberal and compassionate tbari 
Bebecca ; and therefore then art not satisfied with dis- 
tributing the treasttres of thy iminense mercy only to the 
just, of whom Abraham's servants were types, but also 
thbu bestowest them on sinners, who are signified by the 
camelfe.'* * The liberality of Mary,' siiys Blchard of Baint 
Lawrence, ' is like that of her Son, who always gives taore 
than He is asked for.'* " He is," says Saint Panl, " rich 
unto all that call upon Him." * And the liberality of 
Mary is like His ; she bestows more than is sought.'* 
Hear how a devout vniter thus addresses the Blessed 
Virgin : * O Lady, do thou pray for me, for thou wilt ask 
for the graces I require, with greater devotion than I cah 
dare to ask for them ; and thou wilt obtain far greater 
graces from God for me, than T can presume to seek:'® 

When the Samaritans refased to receive Jesus Christ 
and His doctrines. Saint James and Saint John askfed Him 
whettier they should command fire to fall from heaven and 
devour them ; our Lord replied : ** You know not of what 
spirit you are."'' As if He had said, * I am of so tfend* 
and compassionate a spirit, that I came from heaven to 
save and not to chastise sinnerS) and you wish to see tfaem 

* Invenicg enim earn in mfmilra8, plenam curialitate, pietate, misericordia, 
gratioaitate, et lar^tate. — Zoc. cit. 

* Qftm et camelis tuia hauriam aqnam, donee cnncti tibant.— (?«». xxiv» 19. 

* Domina . . . nee puero Abrahee tanttimj aed ct canieli^ potmu ti^buas de 
Bnperefflttcnti hydria tua. — Serm. Sign. Utag. 

* Largitas Marise, iiuitatnr et assimilat largitatem FQiisuii ^uidat aml^s 
qteWi petatnr.— 2>tf Laud. Virg. 1. iv, cap. 22. 

* Dives in omnea qui invocant ilium. — ISam. x, 13. 

* Majori devotione orabis pro me, qmua ego auderem petere^ et nmjoja Biihi 
f tiipctrabis, qnam pctere prsestimam. 

* Kescitis cigus spiritus estis.-^Ztk;. ix, 55. 

O aiiBMlNT, O PIOUS. 21S. 

lost, Eire iudeedl and piumhment ! — speak no more of 
chastisements, for such a spirit is not mine.' But of Marj> 
whose spirit is the same as that of her Son, we can never 
doubt but that she is all inclined to mercy; for, as she 
said to Saint Bridget, she is called the Mother of xnercji 
and it was by God's own mercy that she was made thus 
compassionate and sweet towards all :' I am called the 
Mother of mercy, and truly God's mercy made me thus 
merciful.'^ For this reason Mary was seen by Saint 
John clothed with the sun : " And a great sign appeared 
in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun."^ On which 
words Saint Bernard, turning towards the Blessed Virgin, 
says, ' Thou, Lady, hast clothed the sun, that is the 
Eternal Word, with human flesh ; but He has clothed thee 
with his power and mercy.' » 

'This Queen,' continues the same Saint Bernard, 'is 
so compassionate and benign, that when a sinner, whoever 
he may be, recommends himself to her charity, she does 
not question his merits, or whether he is worthy or un- 
worthy to be attended to, but she hears and succours all.'^ 
* And therefore,' remarks Saint Idelbert, * Mary is ssdd to 
be " fair as the moon."^ For as the moon enlightens and 
benefits the lowest creatures on earth, so does Mary en- 
lighten and succour the most unworthy sinners.'^ And 
though the moon, says another writer, receives all its light 
from the sun, yet it works quicker than the sun ; * for what 
this latter does in a year the moon does in a month.' 
Fqr this reason Saint Anselm says, * that we often more 
quickly obtain what we ask by calling on the name of 
Mary than by invoking that of Jesus.' ^ On this subject 
Hugo of Saint Victor remarks, that * though our sins may 

^ Ego vocoT ab omnibus mater misericordue, veie fi]ia,miaericoidia rHii mei 
fecit me misericordem- — Rev. 1. ii, c. 33. 

* £t Bijgnum mi^tun appaniit in coelo: mulier amicta sole, — Jpoc. xiii 1. 

* Vestis solem nube, et sole ipsa vestiris. — Semi, in Sign. Mag. 

* Non diflcntit merita, sed omnibus sese exorabHem, omnibus dementissiDUim 
pmbet. — Serm. in Sign. Magn. 

* Pnlchra nt Inna. — Cani. vi, 9. , 

* Pnlchra ut Inna quia pnlchrnm est benefiicere indignis.—* J^b/. xvrL t 

7 Velocior est nonnunquam nostra sains, memorato nomine cjusjquaminvgcafo 
nomine Domini Jesn, — De Excel. Virg. cap. vf. 


cause us to fear to approach the Almighty, because it is 
His infinite majesty that we have offended, we must never 
fear to go to Maiy, for in her we shall find nothing to 
terrify us. True it is that she is holy, immaculate, and 
the Queen of the world ; but she is also of our flesh, and 
like us a child of Adam.'^ 

• In fine,* says Saint Bernard, ' aH that belongs to Maiy 
is filled with grace and mercy, for she, as a Mother of 
mercy, has made herself all to all, and out of her most 
abundant charity she has made herself a debtor to the wise 
and the foolish, to the just and sinners, and opens to all 
her compassionate heart, that all may receive of the 
fulness of its treasures/^ So much so, that as " the 
devU," according to Saint Peter, "goes about seeking 
whom he may devour."^ ' So,' on the other hand says 
Bemardine de Bustis, ' does Mary go about seeking whom 
she may save, and to whom she may give life.'* 

We should fiilly understand and always bear in mind a re- 
mark of Saint Germanus, who says, ' that the protection of 
Mary is greaterand more powerftj than anything of which 
we can form an idea.'^ * How is it,' asks another writer, 

* that that Lord who under the old dispensation was so 
rigorous in his punishments, now shows such mercy to 
persons guilty of far greater crimes ?* And he answers, 

* that it is all for the love of Mary, and on account of her 
merits.'® * Oh, how long since,' exclaims Saint Fulgentius, 

* would the world have been destroyed, had not Maiy sus- 
tained it by her powerful intercession! '7 • But now,* says 

1 Si pertimescis ed Deum acceder^ respioe ad Mariam; non illic mvenis qvod 
tinteas ; genus tntim rides, f 

> Plena omnia, pietatia et gmtiie . . . quw ad earn pertinent . . . Dcaiiqae om- 
nibiu omnia facta eat, sapientibiu et inaipientibua copiosiBsima cliaritate debi- 
tricem ae fecit: omnibus misericordise sinum aperit, ut de plenitndiue ^us 
accq>iant nniversi. — Semi, in Siffn. Moan. 

* Circuit quaerens quem devoret.— ^. 1 S. Petri Af. v, 8. 

* Ipsa semper circuit, quaerena quem aalvet. — SfantU. p. ili, Serm. i. 

'^ Fatrocinium tuum majua eat quam nt intelligentia oomprehendi poaait. — De 
Eona Virg. 

^ Qnare parcit nunc mundo ipse Beua, qui olim multo hia minora peccata 
acriua punivit ? Totum boc facit propter B. Virginem et ejua vasriU-.—Ap. F. 
Pepe Gtandexee, etc. f 

* Coelum et terra jamdndttm ruieaent, si Maria tnis predbus non Irasten- 
taaset. t 


Arnold of Chartres, ' that we have the Son as our mediator 
with the Eternal Father, and the Mother as a mediatress 
with the Son, we have ^ access, and can go to God vrith 
entire confidence and hope for every good thing. ' How,' 
he goes on to say, ' can the Father refuse to hear the Son 
who shows Him His side and wounds, the marks of His 
Bufierings endured for sinners; and how can the Son refuse 
to hear his Mother when she shows Him her bosom and 
the br^sts that gave him suck ?' ^ Saint Peter Chiysologus 
says, * that a gentle maiden having lodged a Grod in her 
womb, asks as its price, peace for the world, salvation for 
those who are lost, and life for the dead.'^ « Oh how many,' 
exclaims the Abbot of Celles, * who deserved to be con- 
demned by the justice of the Son are saved by the mercy 
of the Mother ! for she is God's treasure, and the treasurer 
of all graces ; and thus our salvation is in her hands, and 
depends on her.'^ Let us then always have recourse to 
this compassionate Mother, and confidently hope for sal- 
vation through her intercession ; for she, according to the 
encouraging assurance of Bemardine de Bustis, *is our 
salvation, our Hfe, our hope, our counsel, our refuge, our 
help.'* • Mary,' says Saint Antoninus, ' is that throne of 
gnce to which the Apostle Saint Paul, in his epistle to 
the Hebrews, exhorts us to fly with confidence, that we 
may obtain the Divine mercy, and all the help we need 
for our salvation :' " Let us therefore go with confidence 
to the throne of grace : that we may obtain mercy, and 
find grace in seasonable aid."^ ' To the throne of grace, 
tlwt is to Mary,' says Saint Antoninus ; and for this reason 

1 Secamm aa:essiiin jam Iiabet homo ad Demn, nbi mediaforem causae stub 
TQinm habet ante Fatrem, et ante JiAam Matrem. Christna nndato latere, Psbri 
Oftendit latua et volnera: Maria Christo pectus et abera. — De Laud. Virg. 

* Una pnella sic Deum soi pectoris capit, reeipit, oblectat hospitio, ut pacem 
toii^ ooaii^floaPB lalntem perditis, vttam mortois . . . pro ipsa doimu engat 
pensione.— ^rm. cbc. 

* ^spe qaoB-Jnstitia IRIii potest damnare, Matris miserieordia liberat, quia 
Thesannu Domini eat, et thesaoraria gratiarum ipgins . . . quia talus nostra in 
manns illitM est. — Trol. in Contempl. Vtrg. 

* Hsec est nostra sains, vita, spes, consilinm, refnginm, anxilium nostnun.— 
P. i, 80m, 6 d« Com. Mar. 

» Adeamns er^o com fidncia ad thronnm gratis : nt misericordiam conse- 
qnaainr, et gratiam isyeniamns in aoxilio opportono.— J7«ir. It, 16. 


Saint Catharine of Sienna called Maiy 'tlie dispenser of 
Divine mercy .'^ 

Let ns conclude with the beautifdl and tender exclama- 
tion of Saint Bonayentnie on these words, ' O dement, O 
pions, O sweet Yirgin Mary ! ' ' O Maiy, thou ait clement 
with the miserable, compassionate towards those who pray 
to thee, sweet towards those who love thee : clement with 
the penitent, compassionate to those who adyanoe, sweet 
to the perfect. Thon showest thyself clement in deliyering 
ns from chastisement, compassionate in bestowing graces, 
and sweet in giving thyself to those who seek thee.'* 


Father Charles Bovius relates, that in the principality of 
Dombes in France, there was a married man whose wife 
was jealons of another woman, and did nothing but call 
down both on her husband and the woman, the judgments 
of God; and this she did especiaUy one day that she 
went before an altar of the !Blessed Virgin to pray for 
justice against this woman. The woman, however, was 
in the habit of going every day to recite a * Hail ! Maiy* 
before the same image. One night, the Divine Mother 
appeared in a dream to the wife, who, on seeing her, began 
as usual to exclaim, * Justice, O Mother of God, justice T 
But our Blessed Lady replied, * Justice ! chastisements I 
dost thou seek them of me ? No, go to others, for I will 
not grant what thou askest ; for know,' she added, ' that 
that sinner recites every day a salutation in my honour, 
and by whomsoever it is recited, it deprives me of the 
power of allowing her to suffer or to be chastised for her 
sins. In the morning the wife went to hear mass in the 
above-named church of our Blessed Lady, and on returning 
home met this woman and immediately began to abuse 
her, and then declared that she was a witch, and that she 

1 Adminutratrix miflericordise. 

* O Clemens iiidi|;entibus 1 pia exorantibus 1 dulcis diligentibtM 1 demeui 
pnnitentibiiB I Opiaproficientious! dulcis contemplantibus ! O Clemens labo- 
Tandol O pia larg;ienao ! dulcia te donando !<-<S'«p. ISah. Beff. 

\^ sncQ^ed eveu ia encliasituag the. Bieseed Virgin, her^ 
self. The people who were present told her to hold -her 
toagiie. ' Be a^eut ! indeed^ I will not, for wh^t I say is 
ta^Q^ fox last night our Blessed Lady appeared to me, and 
"^hei^ l.^ei^anded justice* she told me that she could not 
^Qi^t it.on, aocoimt of a salujiation offered her every day 
iQf ; thifi w^toh/ The woman was then asked what saluta-* 
I^A it was that she offered eyery day to the Mother of 
Gqd» a$d sjie replied that it was the ' Hail, Mary.' On 
h€^{^ring that for that trifling devotion ike BlessedLYirgin 
had shown her such mercy, she went and cast herself 
before thQ holy ia^e, and there, in the presence ,of all, 
she asked pardon for the scandal she had given, and made 
a vow of perpetual chastity. She then clothed herself 
with the habit of a nun, built herself a little room near the 
church, and there remained until her death, leading a life 
of continual mortification and penance. 


Mother of Mercy, since thou art so compassionate, 
and hast so great a desire to render service to us poor 
creatures, and to grant our requests, behold I, the most 
miserable of all men, have now recourse to thy compassion, 
in order that thou may est grant me that which I ask. 
Others may ask what they please of thee, — bodily health, 
and earthly goods and advantages ; but, I come, O Lady, 
to ask thee for that which thou desirest of m6, and which 
is most in conformity with, and agreeable to thy most 
sacred heart. Thou art so humble ; obtain for me humi- 
lity and love of contempt. Thou wast so patient under 
the sufferings of this life, obtain for me patience in trials. 
Thou wast aU filled with the love of God, obtain for me 
the gift of His pure and holy love. Thou wast all love 
towards thy neighbour, obtain for me charity towards aU, 
and particularly towards those who are in any way my 
enemies. Thou wast entirely united to the Divine will, 
obtain for me entire conformity with the will of God in 


218 O CLEMENT, O PI0178. 

whatever way He may be pleased to dispose of me. Thoo, 
in fine, art the most holy of all creatcnes; O Many, 
make me a saint. Love for me is not wanting on thy 
part ; thon canst do all, and thou hast the will to obtain 
me all. The only thing, then, that can prevent me from 
leceiving thy graces is, either n^lect on my part in having 
recourse to thee, or little confidence in thy inteioesaion ; 
but these two things thou must obtain for me. These 
two greatest graces I ask from thee ; from thee I must 
obtain them ; from thee I hope for them with the greatest 
confidence, O Mary, my Mother Mary, my hope, my love, 
my life, my refuge, my help, and my oonsolation. Amen. 



Of ike 9weetne8$ of the name of Mary during life and at 


fiSfSE great name of Maiy, which was giTen to the 
^i' Divine Mother, d^ not come to her from her parents, 
nor was it given to her by the mind or will of man, as is the 
case with all other names that are imposed in this world ; 
but it came from heaven, and was given her by a Divine 
ordinance. This is attested by Saint Jerome,^ Saint Epi- 
phanius,^ Saint Antoninus,^ and others. * The name of 
Mary came from the treasury of the Divinity,'* says Saint 
Peter Damian. Ah ! yes, O Mary, it was from that trea- 
sury that thy high and admirable name came forth ; for 
the most Blessed Trinity, says Eichard of Saint Lawrence, 
bestowed on thee a name above every other name after 
that of thy Son, and ennobled it with such majesty and 
power, that He willed that all heaven, «arth, and hell, on 
only hearing it, should fall down and venerate it ; but I 
will give the author's own words : * The whole Trinity, O 
Mary, gave thee a name after that of thy Son above every 
other name, that in thy name every knee should bow, of 
things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.' ^ But 

1 IkNat.S.M, 

* Ora4io de Fnu. Deip. 

» P. i. Hist. tit. 4^ c. 6. t 

* De thesauro Dmnitatii MaiuB nomcn evolvitnr. — ^Tom. ii, Serm. 11 dt 
Jmnnn. B. V. 

* Bedit enim d, iotaTrimta8,nomen quod est super omne nomen, post nomen 
¥11ii Bui; at in nomine ^^ns omne genu flectatur . . . cielestiam, terrestriuu et 
)nfern<Mni]n.~Dtf IdMd. Firff. lib. i« cap. ii. 


amongst the other priyileges of the name of Mary, and 
which were given to it by God, we will now examine that 
of the peculiar sweetness found in it by the seirants of 
this most holy Lady during life and in death. 

And in the first place, speaking of the course of our 
life, the holy anchoret Honorius used to say, that 'this 
name of Mary is filled with eveiy sweetness and Divine 
savour,' ^ so much so that the glorious Saint Anthony of 
Padua found the same sweetness in ^e name of Mary that 
Saint Bernard found in that of Jesus. ' Name of Jesus !' 
exclaimed the one. ' O name of Mary V lepHed the other ; 
* joy in the heart, honey in the mouth, melody to the ear 
of her devout clients.' ^ It is' narrated in the life of the 
Bev. Father Juvenal Ancina, bishop (^ Saiossso, that in 
pronouncing the name of Mary he tasted so gnsA and 
sensible a sweetness, that, after doing so, he licked, his 
lips. We read also, that a lady at Cologne told the 
Bishc^ Marsilius, that as often as she fitt^?ed t^ name of 
Ms^, she experienced a taste far sweeter ihsm. hon^. 
The bishop imitated h^, and experienoed the same thing* 
We gather from the sacred Canticles, that oa the assump- 
tion of our Blessed Lady, the angels asked her name thiee 
times. " Who is she that goeth up by the desert as a 
pillar of smoke ?" ^ Again, " Who is she that cometh 
forth as the momii^ rising ?"* And again, " Who is this 
that cometh up from the desert, Avowing with, ddi^ts ?" ^ 
/ And, why,' says Richard of Sainlt Lawrenoe, ' cb the 
angels so often ask the nsone of their Queen ?' He answers, 
' that it was so sweet even to the angels to hear it pro^ 
nounced, that they desired to hear that sweet name in 
reply.' * 

But here I do not intend to speak of that sensible 
sweetness, for it is not granted to all; I speak of that 

^ Hoc nomeiL Marise plenum est onmi dnlcedine ac suavitate divina. t 

* Nomen Marice jubilus in corde, mel in ore, in anre melos. 

' Qirae est ista, qua ascendit per desertnm, sicut vtrgula fvaxd^—Cant. iii, 6. 

* Qu« est ista, quae progreditur quasi aurora eon^nrgens? — Cant, vi, 9. 
5 Oucp. est ista, qua? ascendit dc deserto, deliciis affluens? — Cant, viii, 5. 

* Forsitan quia dnlce nomen sibi desiderant responderi.— 2)^ Laud. tirg. Ub. i, 
cap. 2. 


salutary sweetness of consolation, of love, of joy, of con- 
fidence, of strength, which the name of Mary ordinarily 
brings to those who pronounce it with devotion. The 
Abbot Francone, speaking on this subject, says, * there is 
no other name after that of the Son in heaven, or on earth, 
whence pious minds derive so much grace, hope, and 
sweetness.'! After the most sacred name of Jesus the 
name of Mary is so rich in every good thing, that on earth, 
and in heaven, there is no other from which devout souls 
receive so much grace, hope, and sweetness. * For,' he 
continues, 'there is something so admirable, sweet, and 
divine in this name of Mary, that when it meets with 
friendly hearts it breathes into them an odour of delight- 
ful sweetness.' And, he adds, in conclusion, *that the 
wonder of this great name is, that if heard by the lovers 
of Mary a thousand times, it is always heard again with 
renewed pleasure, for they always experience the same 
sweetness each time it is pronounced.' ^ 

The Blessed Henry Suso, also speaking of this sweet- 
ness, says, * that when he named Mary, he felt himself so 
excited to confidence, and inflamed with such love and joy, 
that between the tears and joy, with which he pronounced 
the beloved name, he desired that his heart might leave 
his breast ; for he declared that this most sweet name was 
like a honeycomb, dissolving in the inmost recess of his 
soul :' and then he would exclaim : ' O most sweet name ! 
Mary, what must thou thyself be, since thy name alone 
is thus amiable and gracious ?' 

The enamoured Saint Bernard, raising his heart to his 
good Mother, says, with tenderness, * great I O pious ! 
thou, who art worthy of all praise ! most Holy Virgin 
Mary ! Thy name is so sweet and amiable, that it cannot 
be pronounced without inflaming those who do so with 

> Neqve eniin,po8t illnd singulare delecti Filii sut nomen, quod est sttper omne 
nomen, alind nomen ctelam aut terra nominat, unde tantum gratiis, tanttun spei, 
tantum suayitatis, tomtom consolationis pte mentea concipiant. — De Cfrat. Nov. 

* Nomen namqne Maris, mirom quid suave, atque divinum in se continet, nt 
cum lonuerit amicis cordUbus, amicse snavitatis odorem spiret. £t mirum illnd 
est de nomine Mariee, et valde mimm: nt miUies andilnm, semper andiatnr, 
qoasi novum.— 74. -» n t 


love towards thee and God. It only need oocar to the 
thought of thy lovers to more them to love thee more, and 
to console them.' 'Thou canst not be named without 
inflaming ; thou canst not be thought of, by those who 
love thee, without filling their minds with joy.'^ 'And 
if riches comfort the poor, because they r^eve them in 
their distress, oh how much more does thy name, O Maiy,' 
says Eichard of Saint Lawrence, ' comfort us than any 
earthly riches ! It comforts us in the anguishes of this life/ 
*■ Thy name, O Mary, is isx better than riches, because it 
can better relieve poverty.* ^ In fine, * thy name, O Mother 
of God, is filled with Divine graces and blessings,'^ as 
Saint Methodius says. So much so, that Saint Bonaventure 
declares, ' that thy name, O Mary, cannot be pronounced 
without bringing some grace to him who does so devoutly.'^ 
The blessed Baymond Jordano says, ' that however har<> 
dened and diffident a heart may be, the name of this most 
Blessed Virgin has such efficacy, that if it is only pro- 
nounced, that heart will be wonderfidly softened.' I will, 
however, give his own words, * The power o^ thy most 
holy name, O ever blessed Virgin Mary, is such, that it 
softens the hardness of the human heart in a wonderful 
manner.' He then tells us that it is she who leads sin« 
ners to the hope of pardon and grace: 'By thee does 
the sinner recover the hope of forgiveness and of grace.' ^ 
'Thy most sweet name, Mary,' according to Saint 
Ambrose, * is a precious ointment, which breathes forth 
the odour of Divine grace.* The Saint then prays to the 
Divine Mother, saying: 'Let this ointment of salvation 

1 pia, magna, luultani laudabilis Marise; tu nee nominari ouitleni potes 
quin accendas ; nee cogituri quin rccrees aifectua diligentiom te. — Depr. et Laus 

* Marise nomen lonee melius quam dintiee eorporales, quia melius angustiam 
relevat paupertatis. — De Laud. Virg lib. i, cap. 3, 

3 Tuum, JDel ^enitiix, nomen divinis beaeuictionibus et g;ratiis ex omni parte 
refertum. — Or. in Hyp. 

* Nomen tuuni . . . devote nominari non potest sine nominantis utilitate. — 
Spec. B. M. V. lect. ix. 

■ ^ Tanta est. virtus tui sacratissimi nominis, semper benedicta Virgo Mana, 
quod mirabililer emollit et penetrat duritiam cordis fiumani . . . peccator per tQ 
rcspirat in spc veniaj ct gratue. — lu Contem^. B. V. cap. v. 


enter the inmost recesses of our souls :*^ that is, grant, O 
Lady, that we may often remember to name thee with love 
and confidence; for this practice either shows the possession 
of Divine grace, or else is a pledge that we shall soon 
recover it. 

* And truly it is so, O Mary ; for the remembrance of 
thy name comforts the affiicted, recalls those who have 
erred to the way of salvation, and encourages sinners, that 
they may not abandon themselves to despair.' It is thus 
that Landolph of Saxony addresses her.^ And Father 
Pelbert says, * that as Jesus Christ, by his five wounds, 
gave a remedy for the evils of the world, so also does 
Mary, by her most holy name, which is composed of five 
letters, daily bring pardon to sinners,' ^ 

For this reason is the holy name of Mary likened in 
the sacred Canticles, to oil. *^ Thy name is as oil poured 
out."* On these words blessed Alan says, *that the 
glory of her name is compared to oil poured out; because 
oil heals the sick, sends out a sweet odour, and nourishes 
flames.'^ Thus also does the name of Mary heal sinners ; 
rejoice hearts, and inflame them with Divine love. Hence 
Eichard of Saint Lawrence * encourages sinners to have 
recourse to this great name,' because it alone wiU suffice 
to cure them of all their evils ; and * there is no disorder, 
however malignant, that does not immediately yield to the 
power of the name of Mary.'^ 

On the other hand, Thomas a Kempis affirms, 'that 
the devils fear the Queen of Heaven to such a degree, 

^ "Un^nentum . . . nomen tuiun." Desoendat istud un^eutniiL m ima prse- 
cordia, viscerumque secreta, quo non delicianun odoares sancta Maria, sed diviiue 
gratiiB gpiramenta redolebat. — De Instit. Virg. c. 13. 

' Maria, tui recordatio nominis melle dmcior, nectare suavior, fessos recreat, 
msestos leetificat, oppresses relevat, errantes adviam salutis revocat, etpeccatores, 
se desperent, suae suavitatis odore confoitat.— i« vita Christi, p. ii, cap. 86. 
, > Sic Maria bug sanctissimo nomine, quod quinque litteriB constat, confert 
quotidie veniam peccatoribus. — Stellar, a. 3.t 

* Oleum effusum nomen tuum. — Cant, i, 2. 

K Gloria nominis ejus oleo elFuso comparatur. Oleum eegrotantem sanat, 
odorem parat, flammam accendit. t 

^ Peecator ea ad Mwrise nomen confugian. Ipsum solum stiiiicitad mcdendum : 
yam pestis tam efficax nulla sic lueret, qunB ad nomen Maiiee non cedat continue. 
— De Laud. Virg. lib. i, cap. 2. 


that on only hearing her great name prononnced, they fly 
from him who does so as firom a burning flie.'^ The 
Blessed Virgin herself revealed to Saint Bridget ' that there 
is not on esuih a sinner, however devoid he may be of the 
love of God, from whom the devil is not obliged immedi*- 
ately to fly, if he invokes her holy name with a determina- 
tion to repent.'^ On another occasion she repeated the 
same thing to the Saint, saying, ' that afl the devils venerate 
and fear her name to such a d^ree, that on hearing it 
they immediately loosen the daws with which they hold 
the soul captive.'* 

Our Blessed Lady also told Saint Bridget, * that in the 
same way as the rebel angels fly from sinners who invoke 
the name of ^laiy, so also do ' the good angels approach 
nearer to just souls who pronounce her namewith devotion.'* 
Saint Germanus declares, ' that as breathing is a sign of 
life, so also is the frequent pronunciation of the name of 
Mary a sign either of the life of Divine grace, or that it 
will soon come ; for this powerful name has in it the virtue 
of obtaining help and life for him who invokes it devoutly.' 
Addressing the Blessed Virgin, he says, 'As breathing is a 
sign of life in the body, so is the frequent repetition of thy 
most holy name, O Virgin, by thy servants, not only a 
sign of life and of strength, but also it procures and con- 
ciliates both.'^ In flue, 'This admirable name of our 
Sovereign Lady,' says Bichard of Saint Lawrence, * is like 
.a fortified tower, in which, if a sinner takes refuge, he will 
be delivered from death ; for it defends and saves even the 

^ E^^vescnnt ooeli Beginam spiriiiu maligni, et diffagniiit andito nomine 
ejus, velut ab iguc— 5«n», iv ad Nor. 

* Nnllns etiam tarn frigidna ab amoreDei est, nisi sit damnatas, si invocaverit 
hoc nomen, hac intentione, nt ntinqnam reverti velit ad opns solitnm, qnod non 
discebat ab eo itatim diabolns. — Rn>. lib. i, cap. 9. 

* Oninea dsemonei verentnr hoc nomen, et timent. Qni andientes hoc nomen 
Mariffi, statim relinquunt animam de nngnibns, qnibna tenebant earn. — Eet. lib. i, 
cap. 9. 

* Angeli etiam boni, audito hoc nomine, statim appropinqnant magis jnstis. — 
Bev. lib. i, cap. 9. 

* Qnomodo enim corpus nostrum vitalis signnm operationis habet respira- 
tionem, ita etiam sanctissimnm tunm nomen quod in ore serromm tnormn 
venatur asaidnc, in omni tempore, loco et modo : vitse, letitise, et auxilii, nou 
solum est signuni, sod ea etiam procnrat et conciUat. — i>r Zona Virg, 


most ftbandoned/^ But it is a tower of strength, wliidi 
not only defers smners from chastisement, but also defends 
the jnst from the assaoHs of hdl. Thus the same Richard 
says, *that after the name of Jesus, there is no other in 
which men find such powerfiil assistance and salvation 
as in the great name of Mary.'' He says, ' there is not 
«ach powerM help in any name, nor is diere any other 
name ^Ten to men, after that of Jesus, from which so 
much skvation is poured forth upon men as from the name 
of Mary.' Moreover, it is well known, and is daily ex- 
perienced by the dients of Mary, that her powerful name 
gives the particular strength necessary to overcome tempta- 
'tions against purity.' The same author, in his com- 
mentary on the words of Saint Luke, " and the Virgin's 
name was Mary,"* remarks that these two words, Mary 
and Virgin, are joined together by the Evangelist, to denote 
that the name of this most pure Virgin should always be 
coupled with the virtue of chastity.'* Hence Saint Peter 
Chrysologus says, * that the name of Mary is an indication 
of chastity ;'* meaning, that when we doubt as to whether 
we have consented to thoughts against this virtue, if we 
remember having invoked the name of Mary, we have a 
certain proof that we have not sinned. 

Let us, therefore, always take advantage of the beauti- 
ful advice given us by Saint Bernard, in these words : * In 
dangers, in perplexities, in doubtful cases, think of Mary, 
call on Mary ; let her not leave thy lips ; let her not depart 
from thy heart.'* In every danger of forfeiting Divine 
grace, we should think of Maiy, and invoke her name, 
together with that of Jesus ; for these two names always 

^ TorriB fortissima nomen Dominse : ad ipsain confagiet peccator in tentatione, 
et etiam qui peccavit. et aalvabitiix. Heec defendit quos libet, et quanUuuUbet 
jpeccatores.— Z)0 lam. Virg. lib. i, cap. 2. 

* Non e»t . . . in aliquo alio nomine, post nomen Filu. tarn potens a^jntorinm, 
nee est aliquod nomen sub coelo, datum nominibus, post dulee nomen Jesn, ex quo 
tanta salus refimdatur bominibus. — De Laud. Virg. lib. i, rap. 2.. 

5 Et nomen Virginis Maria. — Luc. i, 27. 

* Nomini Mariee, Yirginitaa et sanctitaa, inieparabiliter sunt adjuncta. — Jk 
Laud. V. lib. i, cap. ii. 

* Nomen hoc . . . judicium castitatis. — Serm. cxlvi, 

' In periculis, in angustiis, in rebus dubiis, Mariam cogita, Mariom invoca. 
Noa recedat ab ore, non recedat a corde. — Eon. ii sup. Miss. 


go iogeUier. Oli then never let ns pennit these two most 
sweet names to leave our hearts, or be off our lips ; for 
they wiU give us strength not only not to yield, but to 
conquer all our temptations. Consoling indeed are the 
promises of help made by Jesus Christ, to those who have 
devotion to the name of Mary; for one day, in the hearing 
of Saint Bridget, He promised His most holy Mother that 
He would grant three special graces to those who invoke 
that holy name with confidence: first, that He would 
grant them perfect sorrow for their sins ; second, that their 
crimes should be atoned for ; and, thirdly, strength to attain 
perfection, and at length the glory of paradise'^ And then 
our Divine Saviour added : ' Por thy words, O my Mother, 
are so sweet and agreeable to me, that I cannot deny what 
thou askest.'^ 

Saint Ephrem goes so far as to say, * that the name of 
Mary is the key of the gates of heaven,'^ in the hands of 
those who devoutly invoke it. And thus it is not without 
reason that Saint Bonaventure says, 'that Mary is the 
salvation of all who call upon her ;' for he addresses her, 
saying : ' O salvation of all who invoke thee 1'^ meaning^ 
that to obtain eternal salvation and invoke her name are 
synonymous; and Eichard of Saint Lawrence affirms, 
' that the devout invocation of this sweet and holy name 
leads to the acquisition of superabundant graces in this 
Hfe, and a very high degree of glory in the next.'^ * If 
then, O brethren,' concludes Thomas a Kempis, ' you desire 
consolation in every labour, have recourse to.Mary; invoke 
the name of Mary, honour Mary, recommend yourselves 
to Mary, rejoice with Mary, weep with Mary, pray with 
Mary, walk with Mary, seek Jesus with Mary ; in fine, 

1 Habitatoresmimdi indigent trflnis. Frimo^cantritionepropeccatii. Secnndo^ 
satisfactume. Tertio, fertitndine ad faciendum bona . . . Omnis qnicimiqae in- 
rocaverit nomen tiram, et spem habet in te, cum panroosito emendandi commissi^ 
ista tria dabnntnr ei, insnper et reg^num OGcIeste. — Lid. i Sev. cap. 50. 

* Tanta enim est mihi dulcedo in verbis tuis, nt non possim negare qpm petis. 

* Are portarnm oodestis paiadisi reseramentnm. — Serm. de Laud. B. V. M. 

* O salQS te uiTOcantinml 

* Derota . . . invocatio et recordatio nominis ejus, ducit ad virorem gratiflB in 
pmsenti, ad virorem coelestiom in fatnro.-^Z>« hand. V. lib. i, cap. S. 


desire to live and die "with Jesns and Mary. By acting 
thus you will always advance in the ways of God, for Mary 
will most willingly pray for you, and the Son will most 
certainly grant all that His Mother asks.'^ 

Thus we see that the most holy name of Mary is sweet 
indeed to her clients during life, on account of the very 
great graces she obtains for them. But sweeter still will 
it be to them in death, on accoimt of the tranquil and 
holy end that it will ensure them. Father Sertorius 
Caputo exhorted all who assist the dying, frequently to 
pronounce the name of Mary ; for this name of life and 
hope, when repeated at the hour of death, suffices to put 
the devils to flight, and to comfort such persons in their 
sufferings. Saint CanuUus of Lellis also recommended 
his reli^ous, in the strongest terms, to remind the dying 
frequently to invoke the names of Jesus and Mary. This 
was his own custom when attending others ; but Oh, how 
sweetly did he practise it himself on his death-bed, for 
then he prononnced the beloved names of Jesus and Mary 
with such tenderness, that he inflamed even those who 
heard him with love, and at length, with his eyes fixed on 
their venerated images, and his arms in the form of a 
cross, the Saint breathed forth his soul with an air of 
holiness and in the midst of heavenly peace, and in the 
very moment that he was pronouncing those sweet names. 
*fhe invocation of the sacred names of Jesus and Mary,' 
says Thomas h. Kempis, ' is a short prayer, which is as 
sweet to the mind, and as powerful to protect those who 
use it against the enemies of their salvation, as it is easy 
to remember.* * 

• Blessed is the man who loves thy name, O Mary/ ' 

^ Si omsolari in onmi tribnlatione ^nteritis, accedite ad Mamm . . . Hariam 
invoeate, Hariam salntate, Hariam cogitate, Mariam nominate, Hariam honorate, 
Hariam lemper gkrificate, Hari» indinate Harin to« commendate . . . cum 
Maria gaodete, cum Maria dolete . . . cum Maria orate . . . cum Haria ambulate 
. . . cum Maria Jesum quserite . . . com Maria et Jesu vivere et mori desiderate. 
Fratres ai iata bene cogitatis et exercetis . . . proficietis. Maria Ubenter pro Tobis 
onbit . . . et Jeaai libenter Matrem soam txaxiiki.-^Serm. ii ad Nov, 

s Httc lancta oratio, Jesns et Haiia, brevia est ad legendum . . . facilis ad 
tenendum, dulds ad cogitandum, fortis ad protKoidum.— Fo^. HI. can. xiii. 

* B«aUia Tir qui dilii^t nonwa tuvm, Maria Vurgo.^'/fi Ft. i B, V, M. 



ftxclaims Saint Bonayenhue. ' Yes, truly blessed is lie wha 
loves thy sweet name, O Mother of God ! for,' he con- 
tinues, ' thy name is so glorious and admarahle, that no 
one who remembers it has any fears at the hour of death.' ^ 
Such is its power, that none of those who invoke it at the 
hour of death, fear the assaults of their enemies. 

0, that we may end our lives as did the Capuchin 
father, Eulgentius of AscoH, who expired, singing, ^O 
Mary, Mary, the most beautiful of creatures 1 let iis^ 
d^art together;' osr KLe blessed Henry the Cistesdan, 
who expired in the very moment that he was pronouncisgr 
the most sweet name of Mary. Let us then, Q devout 
reader, beg God to grant us, that at death the name oi 
Mary may be the last word on. our lips, and that itiqay; 
be there at that moment. This was the prayer of Saipt. 
Germanus : ' May the la^ moyement of my tong^ie b^ to 
pronounce the . name of the Mother of God.' ^ sweet, 
safe is that death which is accompanied and protectedr 
by such a saving nanie; for God only grants tlve gnice oft 
invoking it to those whom He is al^out to save. 

O my sweet Lady and Mother, I love thee much, and 
because I love thee I also love thy holy name, I purpose- 
and hope, vnth thy assistance,, always to invoke it during, 
life and at death. And to conclude with the tender 
prayer of Saint Bernard : ' I ask thee, Mary, for the 
glory of thy name, to come and meet my soid when it is 
departing fem this world, and to take it in thiue ar|ns.' ^ 
'Disdain not,. M^ry/ the Saint oontinues, 'ta cosjfie 
then and comfort mewith.thy presenpe. , Be thyself s^iy 
soul's ladder and way to heaven. Do thou thyself obtftji* 
for it the grace of forgiveness. and eternal. repose*'^' .He 

^ GlorioBum et'odmlmbae est nomen tunm; am illadretSaent^noneae^veBeent 
in puncto mortis. — P9. ex B. M. V. 

s Idem dei BCatrit nomensit miM nltimusIingunloqtieiiiisniotilB.-^jnf^^AimMr: 
S. DH Gen. Orat. 

' In tsxiixi Koamm men de hoc mnndo; oocnrreiUi Domino, et snseipe earn. — 
£t. cxiii JB, M. V. 

* Consolaxe earn vnltti sancto too aspectaa dflemoniB non torbet illaai; ^stoilli' 
fluda ad legniun coelonim ; et iter rectum ad parltdisiun Dei. Impetra ei a VvXtt 
indulgentiam pacis { et sedem Itidf inter serros J)ek.^^Ib. 


He tlien oondades, sftying, ' O Maiy, onr advocate, it is for 
thee to defend tliy cQents, and to undertake their canse 
before the tribunal of Jesus Christ/ ^ 


Father Bho,^ and also Father Lireo,^ relate, that in 
GelderLmd, abont the year 1465, there was a young 
Woman, named Mary, who was one day sent by her unde 
to the city of Nymegen to market. He desired her to 
pnrdiaBe different tilings, and to spend the night with an 
aunt who dwelt there. The girl executed the commissions, 
but in the evening, on presenting hersdf at her aunt's 
house, she was revised admittance, and obliged to make 
the best of her way home. Night came on whilst she was 
on the road, and in a great passion she called on the devil, 
with a loud voice, to assist her. She had scarcely done so, 
when he appeared to her under the form of a man, and 
pn>mised to help her, provided she would do one thing. * I 
will do anything,' replied the unfortunate creature. ' All 
that I require,' said the enemy, ' is, that you should no 
longer make the sign of the cross, and that you should 
change your name.' ' As to the sign of the cross,' said the 
girl, ' I will no more make it, but my name of Maiy is too 
dear to me, I will never change it.* * Then I will not 
help you,' said the devil. At length, after much disputing, 
it was agreed that she should be called by the &rst letter of 
the name of Maiy, that is, M. On this arrangement they 
started for Antwerp ; and there the poor wretch remained 
with this wicked companion for seven years, leading a 
most shameM life, and a sctodal to all. Chie day she 
told the devil that she wished to see her country once 
more ; the enemy opposed it, but was at length obliged to 
yield. On entering Nym^en, they found that a theatrical 
piece was being performed, representing the life of the 

1 Sostine devotoa ante ttitmnal Chiistit niscipe caosam eornm in manibus 
tnis.— P». cxifi, B. M. r. 
•NifsaaiSabbatL t 
* Nel ino Frisagio Mariano, f 


Bkflsed Tirgin. On seemg it, the poor M begm to weep, 
having still preserved, a spaik of devotion towards the 
Mother of God. ' What are we doing here ?' exdaimed her 
cx)mpanion. '^Vie we also to act a comedy ?' And, at the 
same time, he endeavonred to drive her firom the place. 
She resisted, but he — seeing that he was already losing her, 
in a passion, raised her in the air, and cast hertothegroond 
in the midst of the theatre. The poor ereatme then related 
all that- had hi^pened. She went to confession to the paiish 
priest, but he sent her to the Bishop of Cologne, and the 
Bishop referred Her to the Pope, who, after having heard 
her confession, imposed upon her as a penance, that she 
should always wear three cirdets of iron, one round her 
neck, and two round her arms. The penitent obeyed, and 
on reaching Maestricht, she shut herself up in a convent ol 
penitents, and lived there for fourteen yean, in the exercise 
of the most rigorous mortification. One morning, on 
rising from her bed, she found that the three circlets had 
broken of their own accord ; and two years afterwards she 
died in the opinion of sanctity, and desired to be buried 
with those three Relets of iron, which, firom being a slave 
of hell, had transformed her into a happy slave of her 


O great Mother of God and my Mother Maiy, it is 
true that I am unworthy to name thee; but thou who 
lovest me and desirest my salvation, must, notwithstanding 
the impurity of my tongue, grant that I may always in- 
voke thy most holy and pow^cful name in my aid, for thy 
name is the succour of the living, and the salvation of the 
dying. Ah, most pure Mary, most sweet Mary, grant 
that from henceforth thy name may be the breath of my 
life. O Lady, delay not to help me, when I invoke thee, 
for in all the temptations which assail me, and in all my 
wants, I will never cease calling upon thee, and repeating 
again and again, Mary, Mary. Thus it is that I hope 
to act during my life, and more particularly at death, 


that after that last strngglp, I may etemaBv praise thy 
beloved name in heaven: O clement, O pious, O sweet 
Tiigin Maiy. Ah, Maiy, most amiable Mary, with what 
consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, what tender- 
ness, is my sonl penetrated in only naming, in only think- 
ing of thee. I thank my Lord and God, who, for my 
good, has given thee a name so sweet and deserving of 
love, and at the same time so powerful. 

Bnt, my sovereign Lady, I am not satisfied with only 
naming thee, I wish to name thee with love: 1 desire that 
my love may eveiyhonr remind me to call on thee, so that 
I may be able to exclaim with Saint Bonaventuie, 'O, 
name of the Mother of God, thou art my love.' ^ 

My own dear Mary, O my beloved Jesus, may your most 
sweet names reign in my heart, and in all hearts. Grant 
that 1 may forget all others to remember, and always invoke, 
your adorable names alone. Ah! Jesus my Redeemer, 
and my Mother Maiy, when the moment of death comes, 
in which I must breathe forth my soul and leave tliis 
world, deign, through your merits, to grant that I may 
then pronounce my last words, and that they may be, 
*/ leie thee, JesuSj I love ihee, Mary ; to you do I 
give my heart and my soul.' 

1 O amor md, oomen maliis Jki.—StiM. Am. P. Ill, cap. 16. 




Kit Mihint ^ot^er. 

tSfHE following Prayers are put here, not only tliat they 
vV may be used, but also that they may show the high 
idea that the Saints had of the power and merqy of Maiy, 
and the great confidence they had in her patron^e. 


O immaculate and entirely pure Virgin Mary, Mother 
of God, Queen of the Universe, our own good Lady, thou 
art above all the Saints, the only hope of the Patriarchs, 
and the joy of the Saints. Through thee we have been 
reconciled with our Grod. Thou art the only advocate of 
sinners, and the secure haven of those who are sailing on 
the sea of this life. Thou art the consolation of the world, 
the ransom of captives, the joy of the sick, the comfort of 
the afflicted, the refuge, the salvation of the whole world. 
O great Princess, Mother of God, cover us with the wings 
of thy Mercy, and pity us. No other hope but thee is 
given us, O most pure Virgin. We are given to thee, 
and consecrated to thy service; we bear the name of 
thy servants; oh! then permit not that Lucifer should 
drag us to hell. O immaculate Virgin, we are under thy 


protection, and, therefore, we have leoouise to thee alone ; 
and we beseech thee to prevent thy beloved Son, who i3 
irritated by our sins from abandoning us to the power of 
the deviL 

O thou who art full of grace, enlighten my understand- 
ing, loosen my tongue, that it may sing thy pnuses ; and 
more particularly the angelic Salutation, so worthy of thee. 
I salute thee, O peace, O joy, O consolation of the whole 
world. I salute thee, O greatest of miracles, O paradise 
of delights, secure haven of those who are in danger, 
fountain of graces, mediatress between God and men. 


We raise our eyes to thee, O Queen of the world. We 
must appear before our Judge after so many sins ; who 
will appease Him ? Ko one can do it better than thou 
canst, O holy Lady, who hast loved Him so much, and 
by whom thou art so tenderly beloved. Open then, O 
Mother of Mercy, the ears of thy heart to our sighs and 
prayers. We fly to thy protection ; appease the wrath of 
thy Son, and restore us to His grace. Thou dost not 
abhor a sinner, however loathsome he may be. Tliou dost 
not despise him if he sighs to thee, and, repentant, asks 
thy intercession. Thou, with thy compassionate hand, 
deliverest him from despair. Thou animatest him to hope, 
and dost not leave him, until thou hast reconciled him 
with his Judge. Thou art that chosen Lady in whom our 
Lord found repose, and in whom He has deposited all His 
treasures without measure. Hence the whole world, my 
most holy Lady, honours thy chaste womb as the temple of 
God, in which the salvation of the world began. In thee 
was effected the reconciliation between God and man. Thou, 
O great Mother of God, art the inclosed garden, into which 
the hand of a sinner never entered to gather its flowers. 
Thou art the beautiful garden in which God has planted 

20 § 


all the flowers that adorn the Church, and amongst others, 
the violet of thy humility, the lily of thy purity, the rose 
of thy charity. With whom can we compare thee, O Mother 
of grace and beauty? Thou art the paradise of God. 
Prom thee issued forth the fountain of living water that 
irrigates the whole- earth. Oh^ how many benefits thou 
hast bestowed on the world by meriting to be so salutary 
a channel ! 

Of thee it is that the question is asked, " Who is she 
that cometh forth like the morning rising, fair as the 
moon, bright as the sun ?" Thou camest then into the 
world, O Mary, as a resplendent dawn preceding with the 
light of thy sanctity the coming of the Sun of Justice. 
The day on which thou camest into .the world can indeed 
be called a day of salvation, a day of grace. Thou art 
fair as the moon ; for as amongst all planets the moon it 
is which is most like the sun, so amongst all creatures 
thou art the nearest in resemblance to God. The moon 
illumines the night with the light it receives from the sun, 
and thou enlightenest our darkness with the splendour of 
thy virtues. But thou art fairer than the moon, for in thee 
there is neither spot nor shadow. Thou art bright as the 
sun ; I mean as that Sun which created the smi ; He was 
cnosen amongst all men, and thou wast chosen amongst 
all women. O sweet, great, O aU amiable Mary, no 
heart can pronounce thy name but thou inflamest it with 
thy love, nor can they who love thee, think of thee without 
feeling themselves strengthened to love thee more. 

Oh ! holy Lady, help our weakness. And who is more 
fit to address our Lord Jesus Christ than thou who en- 
joyest in such close vicinity His most sweet converse ? 
Speak then, speak Lady, for thy Son listens to thee, and 
thou wilt obtain all that thou askest of Him. 

laroor pbatkbs. 285 


Oh, my only and sovereign Lady, who art the sole con- 
solation thai I leodTe from God : thou who art the only 
celestial dew that gives me refreshment in my pains, 
thou who art the light of my sonl when it is surrounded 
with darkness, thou who art my guide in joumeyings, my 
strength in weakness, my treasure in poverty, the balm of 
my wounds, my consolation in sorrow, thou who art my 
refuge in miseries, and the hope of my salvation, listen to 
my prayers, have pity on me as it becomes the Mother of 
a God who has such love for men. O, thou who art our 
defence and joy, grant me all that I ask ; make me worthy 
to enjoy with thee that great happiness which thou en- 
joyest in heaven. Tes, my Lady, my refuge, my life, my 
help, my defence, my strength, my joy, my hope, grant 
that I may one day be with thee in heaven. I know that 
being the Mother of Go4, thou canst, if thou wilt, obtain 
it for me. O Mary, thou art omnipotent to save sinners, 
nor needest thou anv other recommendation ; for thou art 
the Mother of true life. 



Draw me after thee, O Virgin Mary, that I may run 
to the odour of thy ointments. Draw me, for I am held 
back by the weight of my sias and by the malice of my 
enemies. As no one goes to thy Son unless the heavenly 
Father draws him, so do I presume to say, in a certain 
manner, that no one goes to Him unless thou drawest him 
by thy holy prayers. It is thou who teachest true wisdom ; 
thou who obtainest grace for siimers, for thou art their ad- 
vocate ; it is thou who promisest glory to him who honours 
thee, lor thou art the treasurer of graces. 

Thou, O most sweet Virgin, hast found grace with God, 
for thou wast preserved from tl.e stain of original sin, waat 

1 Out of humility lie suruamed himself the Idiot. 


filled with the Holy Ghost, and didst oonoeiTe the Son of 
Grod. Thou, O most humble Virgin, didst leoeiTe all these 
graces not for thpelf only but also forns, that thon mi^t- 
est assist us in aU our necessities. And this thon dost 
indeed, thou succouiest the good, preseiring them in grace, 
and the wicked thou preparest to receiye Divine mercy. 
Thou assistest the dying, protecting them against the 
snares of the devil ; and thou helpest them also after death, 
receiving their souls and conducting them to the kingdom 
of the blessed. 


Thy name, O Mother of God, is filled with all graces 
and Divine blessings. Thou hast contained Him who 
cannot be contained, and nourished Him who nourishes 
all creatures. He who fills heaven and earth, and is Lord 
of all, was pleased to stand in need of thee, for it was 
thou who didst clothe Him with that flesh which he had 
not before. Bejoice then, O Mother and handmaid of Grod. 
Be glad then, with exceeding great joy, for thou hast Him 
for thy debtor who gives their being to all creatures. We 
are all God's debtors, but He is a debtor to thee. Hence 
it is, O most holy Mother of Gk)d, that thou hast greater 
goodness and greater charity than all the other Saints, and 
hast freer access to God than anv of them, for thou art 
His Mother. Ah deign, we beseech thee, to remember 
us in our miseries, who celebrate thy glories and know how 
great is thy goodness. 


I salute thee, O Mary, thou art the hope of Christiana ; 
receive the supplication of a sinner who loves thee ten- 
derly, honours thee in a special manner, and places in thee 
the whole hope of his salvation. From thee I have my life. 
Thou reinstatest me in the grace of thy Son, thou art the 


oertain pledge of my salvation. I implore thee then de- 
liver me firom the burden of my sins, dispel the darkness 
of my mind, banish earthly affections from my heart, repress 
the temptations of my enemies, and so rule my whole life, 
that by thy means, and under thy guidance, I may attain 
the eternal happiness of heaven. 


I salute thee, O fuU of grace, our Lord is with thee ; I 
salute thee, O cause of our joy, through whom the sentence 
of our condemnation was revoked and changed into one of 
blessing. I salute thee, O temple of the glory of God, 
sacred dwelling of the King of heaven. Thou art the re- 
conciliation of Grod with men. I salute thee, O Mother 
of our joy. Truly thou art blessed, for thou alone amongst 
all women wast found worthy to be the Mother of thy Crea- 
tor. All nations call thee Blessed. 

O Mary, if I place my confidence in thee, I shall be 
saved ; if I am under thy protection I have nothing to 
fear, for the fact of being thy client is the possession of a 
certainty of salvation, which God only grants to those 
whom He will save. 

O Mother of Mercy, appease thy beloved Son. Whilst 
thou wast on earth thou didst only occupy a small part of 
it, but now that thou art raised above the highest heavens 
the whole world considers thee as the propitiatory of all 
nations. I implore thee then, O Holy Virgin, to grant 
me the help of thy prayers with God ; prayers which are 
dearer and more precious to us than all the treasures of 
the earth : prayers which render Gt)d propitious to us in 
our tons, and obtain us a great abundance of graces, both 
for the pardon of our offences, and the practice of virtue : 
prayers which check our enemies, confound their designs, 
and triumph over their strength. 

^ Or of Jemsalei^, for it is not known wlietber it waa one person under t e 
two titles, or two Cerent persona. 



I come to tliee, Mother of God, and implore thee to 
obtain me the pardon of my sins, and that I may be 
cleansed from those of my whole life. I beseech thee to 
great me the grace to unite myself in affection with thy 
Son, and with thyself; with thy Son as my God, and with 
thee as the Mother of my God. 


Give ear to our prayers, most Holy Virgin, and be 
mindfiil of us. Dispense unto us the gifts of thy riches, 
and the abundance of the graces with which thou art filled. 
The archangel saluted thee, and called thee full of grace. 
iVll nations call thee blessed. • The whole hierarchy of 
heaven blesses thee : and we, who are of the terrestrial 
hierarchy, also address thee, saying : Hail, full of grace, 
our Lord is with thee ; pray for us, O Holy Mother of 
God, our Lady and our Queen. 


We beseech thee, most Holy Lady, by the favour that 
God did thee, in raising thee so high as to make all things 
possible to thee, with Him, so to act, that the plenitude of 
grace, which thou didst merit, may render us partakers of 
thy glory. Strive, O most merciful Lady, to obtain us 
that for which God was pleased to become man in thy 
chaste womb. O lend us a willing ear. K thou deignest 
to pray to thy Son for this. He will immediately grant 
it. It suffices that thou wiliest our salvation, and then 
wc are sure to obtain it. But who can restrain thy great 


mercy ? If thou, who art our Mother, and the Mother of 
Mercy, dost not pity us, what will become of us when thy 
Son comes to judge us ? 

Help us then, most compassionate Lady, and consider 
not the multitude of our sins. Eemember always that our 
Creator took human flesh of thee, not to condemn sinners, 
but to save them. If thou hadst become Mother of God 
only for thine own ^vantage, we might say that it signi* 
fled little to thee whether we were lost or saved: but 
God clothed himself with thy flesh for thy salvation, and 
for that of all men. What would thy great power and 
glory avail us, if thou dost not make us partakers of thy 
happiness ? O help us then and protect us : thou knowest 
how greatly we stand in need of thy assistance. We 
recommend ourselves to thee; oh, let us not lose our 
souls, but make us eternally serve and love thy beloved 
Son, Jesus Christ. 


Holy Virgin, Mother of God, succour those who implore 
thy aid. O turn towards us. Hast thou, perhaps, for- 
gotten men, because thou hast been raised to so close a 
union with God? Ah no, most certainly. Thou knowest 
well in what danger thou didst leave us, and the wretched 
condition of thy servants ; ah no, it would not become so 
great a mercy as thine to forget such great misery as ours 
is. Turn towards us then with thy power ; for He who is 
powerful has made thee omnipotent in heaven and on 
earth. Nothing is impossible to thee, for thou canst 
raise even those who are in despair to the hope of sal- 
vation. The more powerful thou art, the greater should 
be thy mercy. 

Turn also to us in thy love. I know, O my Lady, 
that thou art all benign, and that thou lovest us with a 


love that can be surpassed by no other love. How often 
dost thou not appease the wrath of our Judge, when he is 
on the point of chastising us ! All the treasures of the 
mercies of God are in thy hands. Ah never cease to 
benefit us; thou only seekest occasion to save all the 
wretched, and to shower thy mercies upon them j for thy 
glory is increased when, by thy means, penitents are for- 
given, and thus reach heaven. Tu|p then towards us, 
that we also may be able to go and see thee in heaven ; 
for the greatest glory we can have will be, affcer seeing 
God, to see thee, to love thee, and be under thy protec* 
tion. Be pleased then to grant our prayer ; for thy beloved 
Son desires to honour thee, by denying thee noAing that 
thou askest. 


O, Mother of God, I have recourse to thee, and I call 
upon thee not to reject me ; for the whole congregation of 
^ the faithful, calls and proclaims thee the Mother of Mercy. 
Thou art that one who, from being so dear to Gt)d, art 
always graciously heard ; thy clemency was never wanting 
to any one ; thy most benign affability never despised any 
sinner who had recourse to thee, however encnrmous his 
crimes. Can it be falsely, or in vain, that the Chnroh calls 
thee her advocate, and the refuge of sinners ? Never let 
it be said that my sins could prevent thee from fulfil- 
ling the great office of mercy, which is peculiarly iliine 
own, by which thou art the advocate and mediatress of 
peace, the only hope, and most secure refuge of the mise- 
rable. Never shall it be said that the Mother of God, who 
for the benefit of the world brought forth the Fountain of 
Mer^y, denied her mercy to any sinner who had recourse 
to hir. Thine office is that of peacemaker between God 
and men : let, then, the greatness of thy compassion, and 
which far exceeds my sins, move thee to help me. 



Most Holy Lmnacolate Yirs:m and my Mother Mary, 
to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the 
world, the advocate, the hope, and the refoge of sinners, I 
haye reoouise to-day, I who am the most miserable of all. 
I adore thee, O great Queen, and thank thee for all the 
graces thou hast conferred on me until now, and partieu- 
hurly for haying deHvered me from hell, which I have so 
often desenred. I love thee, O most amiable Lady, and 
hj the loye that I bear thee, I promise to serye thee always, 
and to do all in my power that others may senre thee also. 
In thee I place all my hopes, and I confide my salyation to 
thy care ; accept me for thy seryant, and receive me under 
thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so 
powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or 
rather obtain for me strength to triumph over them until 
death. From thee do I ask the true love of Jesus Christ ; 
from thee do I hope the grace to make a good death. O 
my Mother, by the love thou bearest to God, I beseech 
thee to help me always, but particularly at the last moment 
of my life. Leave me not until thou seest me safe in 
heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eter- 
nity. Amen. Amen. 


C]^e Clones o! iHar^. 


TmEAicce OF 




sn npf yitnapai jtasts ot jnanr, aiuf on t^tt ^ottows. 

ON mabt's immaculate conception. 

How becoming it leas that each of the Three Dirifte Fersons 
shoidd preserve Mary from Original Sin, 

a HEAT indeed was the injuiv entailed on Adam and all 
his posterity by his accursed sin ; for at the same time 
that he thereby, for his own great misfortune, lost grace, 
he also forfeited aU the other precious gifts T^dth which he 
had originally been enriched, and drew down upon himself 
and all his descendants, the hatred of God, and an accu- 
mulation of evils. But from this general misfortune, God 
was pleased to exempt that Blessed Virgin, whom He had 
destined to be the Mother of the Second Adam — Jesus 
Christ — ^who was to repair the evil done by the first. Now, 
let us see how becoming it was that God, and all the three 
Divine Persons should thus preserve her from it ; that the 
Father should preserve her as His Daughter, the Son as 
His Mother, and the Holy Ghost as His Spouse. 

244 ON maby's immaculate conception. 

First point. — ^In the first place it was becoming that 
the Eternal Father should preserve Mary from ^he stain of 
original sin, becanse she was His daughter, and His 
first-bom daughter, as she herself declares : " I came out 
of the mouth of th^ Most High, the first-bom before all 
creatures." ^ For this text is appHed to Maiy by sacred 
interpreters, the holy Fathers, and by the Church, on the 
solemnity of her Conception. For be she the first-born, 
inasmuch as she was predestined in the Divine decrees, 
together with the Son, before all creatures, according to 
the Scotists ; or be she the first-bom of grace as the pre- 
destined Mother of the Bedeemer, after the prevision of 
sin, according to the Thondsts, nevertheless all agree in 
calling her the-first bom of God. This being the case, it 
was quite becoming that Mary should never have been the 
slave of Lucifer, but only, and always, possessed by her 
Creator; and this she in reality was, as we' are assured by 
herself : " The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his 
ways." 2 Hence Denis of Alexandria rightly ^calls Maiy 
• the one and only daughter of life.'* She is the one and 
only daughter of life, in contradistinction to others who 
being bom m sin, are daughters of death. 

Besides this, it was quite becoming that the Eternal 
Father should create her in His grace, since He destined 
her to be the repairer of the lost world, and the mediatress 
of peace between men and God; and as such, she is looked 
upon and spoken of by the holy fathers, and in particular 
by Saint John Damascen, who thus addresses her: 'O 
Blessed Virgin, thou wast bom that thou mightest minis- 
ter to the sdvation of the whole world.'* For this reason 
Saint Bernard says, ' that Noah's ark was a type of Mary ; 
for as, by its means, men were preserved from the deluge, 
so are we all saved by Mary from the shipwreck of sin ; 
but with the difference, that in the ark few were saved, 

1 Ego ex ore Altissimi prodivi, primogenita ante onmem creaturani. — EccU 
xxiv, 5 . 

3 Dominus possedit me in initio vianim suarum. — Tnn. viii, 22. 

> Una . . . et sola virgo, filia vitae. — Bptst. Compresiyteri Eecles. Alexand. 

* defliderabiliBsima femina, ac teique beata t ... in mimdmn prodiifrti, nt 
orbiB univerai saluti obsequaris. — Serm. i m Nut. B. V. 

ox KAKT's Ijf?LlCrLATE covcEmox. 245 

and br Manr tbe wiiole human race wss rescued from 
death/ ^ Tberefore^ in a sermon found amonsrst the woii:s 
of Saint Athanasios, she is called ' the neir Ere, and the 
Mother of Kfc ;'* and not iri?ho:jt reason, for the first was 
the Mother of death, bet the most Blessed Virgin iras the 
Mother of tnie life. Saint Theophanins of Nice, address- 
ins: Marr, savs, ' Hail, thon irho hast taken awav Ere's 
soTioir !** Saint Basfl of Seleneia calls her the peace-maker 
bctfreen men and God ! ' Hail, thon who art appointed 
umpire between God and men !'^ and Saint Eplurem, the 
pacificator of the whole world : ' Hail, reconoler of the 
whole world !*• 

But now, it certainly would not be becoming to choose 
an enemr to treat of peace with the offended person, and 
still less an accomplice in the crime itself. Samt Gregory 
says, 'that an enemy cannot undertake to appease his 
judge, who is at the same time the injured party; for if he 
did, instead of appeasing him, he would proToke him to 
greater wrath.' And, therefore, as Mary was to be the 
mediatress of peace, between men and God, it was of the 
utmost importance, that she should not herself appear as 
a sinner, and as an enemy of Grod, but that she should 
appear in all things as a friend, and free from every stain. 

Still more was it becoming that God should preserve 
her from original sin, for He destined her to crush the 
head of that infernal serpent, which, by seducing our first 
parents, entailed death upon all men ; and this our Lord 
foretold: "I will put enmities between thee and the 
woman, and thy seed and her seed : she shall crush thy 

1 Scot . . . per fllam omnes eraseraiit dilnrinm, sic per istam peccnti naufirat- 
ghnn . . . Per flhm, panoonun facta est liberatio : per istam hamani generis 
salTatio. — Sen*, de B. Maria. 

* Nora Hera, Mater ribe ntmcapata. — Int. op. S. Athan. Serm. ie Jimtmt. 

* Ave Domina Vir^, are pnrissima, are rercptacaliun Dei, ave candelabrum 
himinis, Adce rerocaho, £t« nxlemptio, mona sanctum, manifestiuu sanctuarium, 
et sponsarinm immortalitatis. — In Aannnc. B. M. V. ffymu. 

* Ave gratia plena, Dei ac hominum mediatrix, quo medius paries inimicitiie 
ttdlatnr, ac codestibQS, terrena coeant ac nniantnr. — Orat in S. IT. it de Ine, 
JO. If. J. a 

* Are totius terranim orbis conciliatrix efficadssima. — Serm. de Laud. Fity. 



246 ox maky's immaculate conception. 

head. " ^ But if Mai}' was to be that valiant woman brought 
into the world to conquer Lucifer, certainly it was not be- 
coming that he should first conquer her, and make her his 
slave ; but it was reasonable that she should be preserved 
from all stain, and even momentary subjection to her 
opponent. The proud spirit endeavoured to infect the 
most pure soul of this Virgin with his venom, as he had 
already infected the whole human race. But praised and 
ever blessed be God, who, in His infinite goodness, pre- 
endowed her for this piurpose with such great grace, that 
remaining always free from any guilt of sin, she was ever 
able to beat do^vn and confound his pride, as Saint Augus- 
tine, or whoever may be the author of the commentary on 
Genesis, says : * Since the de\'il is the head of original sin, 
this head it was that Mary crushed ; for sin never had any 
entry into the soul of this Blessed Yri^n, which was cou- 
sequeutly free from all staiii.'- And Saint Bonaventure 
more expressly says, ' It was becoming that the Blessed 
Virgin Mary, by whom our shame was to be blotted out, 
and by whom the devil was to be conquered, should never 
even for a moment have been imder his dominion.'^ 

But, above aU, it principally became the Eternal Father 
to preserve this His daughter unspotted by Adam's sin, 
as Saint Bemadine of Sienna remarks, because he destined 
her to be the Mother of His only-begotten Son : * Thou 
wast pre-ordained in the mind of God, before aU creatures, 
that thou mightest beget God himself as man.'* If then 
for no other end, at least for the honour of his Son, who 
was God, it was reasonable that the Father should create 
Mary free from every stain. The angelic Saint Thomas 

1 Inmiicitias ponam inter te et mulicrcm, et semen tuuni et semen illius ; ipsa 
conteret caput tuum. — Geti. iii, 15. 

^ Cmu peccati ori^nalis caput sit diabolus, tale caput Maria contrivit, quia 
nulla peccati subjectio ingressum habuit in aniniam Virginis, et itleo ab omni 
macula immuuis fuit. — Cit. loc. Gen. t 

3 Congruum erat ut beata Virgo Maria, per quam anfertur nobis opprobrium, 
vinceret diabolum, ut nee ei succiimberct ad modicum. — Lib. iii, Dist. 3, art. 3, 

* Tu, ante omneni creaturam, in mcnte Dei prseordinata fuisti, ut omnium 
faiminaruin castissinia, Dcum ipsuni honiineni venini, ex tua carne procreures. — 
Serm. de Concep. B. M. V. art. iii, cap. 3. 

ON Mary's immaci'late conception. 247 

says, that all things that ai'e ordained for God should be 
holy and free from stain : * Holiness is to be attributed to 
those things which are ordained for God.'^ Hence when 
David Avas planning the tenij)le of Jerusalem, on a scale 
of magnificence becoming a God, he said, "For a house is 
prepared not for man, but for God."^ How much more 
reasonable then is it not, to suppose that the Sovereign 
Architect, who destined Mary to be the Mother of His own 
Son, adorned her soid with all most precious gifts, that 
she might be a dwelling worthy of a God ! Denis the 
Carthusian says, * that God, the artificer of all things, when 
constructing a worthy dwelling for lus Son, adorned it 
with all attractive gi-aces.'*^ And the Holy Chm'ch herself, 
in the following prayer, assures us that God prepared the 
body and soul of tlie Blessed Yh'giu, so as to be a worthy 
dwelling on earth for His only begotten Sou. ' Almighty 
and Eternal God, who, by the co-operation of the Holy 
Ghost, didst prepare the body and soid of the glorious 
Virgin and Mother Mary, that she might become a worthy 
habitation for thv Son, &:c.'* 

We know that a man's highest honour is to be bom 
of noble parents : " And the glory of children are their 
fathers."^ Hence in the world, the reputation of being 
possessed of only a small fortune, and little learning, is 
more easily tolerated than that of being of low birth ; for 
whilst a poor man may become rich by his industry, an 
ignorant man learned by study, it is very difficidt for a per- 
son of humble orign to attain the rank of nobility ; but e 'ai 
should he attain it, his birth can always be made a subjeC^ 
of reproach to him. How then can we suppose that God, 

^ Sanctitas illia rebus attribuitiir, quae in Deum onUnaatur. — 1 p. q. xxx^-i, 
art. 1, ooncl. 

* Neque enini liomini prroparatur habitatio, sed T)eo. — 1 Parafip. xxix, 1. 

* Omnium artifex Deus, ad ipsius fonuutionein in utero supei-naturaUter con- 
currcns, Filio suo diguum habitaculum fabricaturus, eani intrinsccus, omnium 
gratilirantium charismatum, et digniflcantium habituum plcnitudiup, adornavit. 
—Be Laud. V. lib. ii, art. 2. 

* Omnipotons sempiternc Dcus, qui gloriosa; Virginis Matris Mariee corpus et 
aniniam, ut dignum Filii tiii babitaculuiu clttci mererctur^ l;>piritu Suncto coopc- 
rante pneparaflti, &c. 

* Gloria filiorum putres eoruni. — iVor. xvii, 6. 

248 ON mart's immaculate conception. 

who could cause His Son to be bom of a noble mother, by 
prcservinj^ her from sm, would on the contrary permit Him 
to be bom of one infected by it, and thus enable Lucifer 
always to reproach Him with the shame of having a mother 
who had once been his slave, and the enemy of God ? No, 
certainly, the Eternal Father did not pennit this, but He 
well provided for the honour of His Son, by preserving His 
Mother always Immaculate, that she might be a Mother 
becoming such a Son. The Greek church bears witness to 
this, saying, * that God, by a singular providence, caused 
the most Blessed Virgin to be as perfectly pure finom the 
very first moment of her existence, as it was fitting that she 
should be, who was to be the worthy Mother of Christ.'^ 

It is a common axiom amongst theologians, that no gifl 
was ever bestowed on any creature with which the Blessed 
Virgin was not also enriched. Saint Bernard says on this 
subject, • It is certainly not wrong to suppose that that 
which has evidently been bestowed, even on only a few, 
was not denied to so great a Virgin.* ^ Saint Thomas of 
Villanova says, * Nothing was ever granted to any Saint 
which did not shine in a much higher degree in Mary, 
from the very first moment of her existence.'^ And as it 
is true that 'there is an infinite difference between the 
Mother of God, and the servants of God,'* according to 
the celebrated saying of Saint John Damascen, we must 
certainly suppose, according to the doctrine of Saint Thomas, 
that • God conferred privileges of grace in every way 
greater on His Mother than on His servants.' ^ And now 
admitting this, Saint Anselm, the great defender of the 
Immaculate Mary, takes up the question and says, * Was 

I FravidentiasmgnlaTi perfedt, ut SS. Virgo, ab ipsovitse snse principk), tarn 
omnino existeret pnra quam decebat illam, quae Chhsto digna mater existeret. — 
In Men. die xxr Martti. f 

* Quod ... vel paucis mortalium constat faUse coUatnm, fas certe non est 
snspicari tantn Virgin! esse negatnm. — Ep. clxxiv ad Can, Lugd. 

> Nihil . . . UBqnam sanctornm, speciau priril^o ooncessnm'est, quod non a 
princi|no vitse, nccumulatius preefalgeat in Maria. — In fest. Assumf. B. V. 
cone. I. 

* InftDitnm Del senromm ac Matris discrimen est. — Horn, i, in Dorm. B. V. if. 

^ Bationabiliter . . . creditor quod ilia qnee gennit Unigenitom a, Fatre plennm 
gratise ct veritatis, pree omnibus alii8,nugora privilegia gratire acceperit.--3 p. 
q. xxvii, art. 1, ooncl. 


the wiadaBi of God unable to foim a pure dwdfimg, and 
to remore emj stain of hmnan nahire from it 'ir^ Perlia{is 
Gred could not |irq p are a dean habitation for His Son, by 
preserrii^ it finom tbe oomnum contagion? ' God«' con- 
tinnes the same Saint, ' could preserve angels in beaTen 
spotless, in the midst of the deyastation that snnoonded 
tbem, was He then unable to piesenre the Mother of His 
Son, and the Queen of angels, from the common £bJ1 of 
men !'' And I majhere add, that as God could grant Eve 
the grace to come immaculate into the world, could He 
not then grant the same faTour to Mary I 

Yes, indeed ! God could do it, and did it ; for on eyeiy 
account 'it was becoming,' as the same Saint Anselm 
says, 'that that Virgin, on whom the Eternal Father 
intended to bestow £Qs only b^otten Son, should be 
adorned with such purity, as not only to exceed that of 
all men and angels, but exceeding any purity that can be 
conceiyed, after that of Grod.'^ And Saint John Damas- 
cen speaks in still clearer terms ; for he says^ ' that our 
Lord had preserved the soul, together with the body of 
the Blessed Vii^in, in that purity which became her who 
was to receive a God into her womb ; for, as He is holy. 
He only reposes in holy places.'^ And thus the Eternal 
Father could well say to His beloved daughter, *As the 
lily among thorns ; so is my love among the daughters."^ 
My daughter, amongst all my other daughters, thou art 
as a lily in the micbt of thorns'; for they are all stained 
with sin, but thou wast always Immaculate, and always 
my beloved. 

Second jmid, — ^In the second place it was becoming 
that the Son should preserve Mary from sin, as being His 

1 Inscia ne fait et impotens, sapientia Dei et virtus, mimdum sibi habitacohun 
oondere, remota onmi labe conditionis humanee? — JDe Concept. B. M. V. 

* Angelis aliis peccantibns, bonoB a peccatis servavit; et foeminaiu, matreig 
mam mox futuram, ab alionun peccatis exortem servare non iK)tuit 1 — Ih. 

* Decens erat, nt ea puritj^e qua magor sub Deo nequit iatelligi, Vii^ ilia 
niteret, cui Dens Pater, unicrtm Rliuni suum . . . ita dare disponebat. — He 
Concep. Virg. cap. xviii. 

* . . . aniiuum una cum corpore Virginem conseirasset, veluti decebat iUain, 
quse sinu suo conceptura Deum erat, qui, cum Ipse sahctus sit, in sanctiB 
lequiescit.— i>^ Fide orth. lib. iv, cap. 14. 

' Sicut lilium inter spinas, sic omica mea inter filias. — Cant. % 2. 


Mother. No one can choose his mother ; but should such 
a thing ever be granted to any one, who is there who, if 
able to choose a queen, woidd wish for a slave ? If able to 
choose a noble lady, would he wish for a servant? Or if able 
to choose a fnend of God, would he wish for His enemy ? If 
then the Son of God alone could choose a Mother according 
to His own heart — His Kking, we must consider, as a matter 
of course, that He chose one becoming aGod. Saint Bernard 
says, * that the Creator of men becoming Man, must have 
selected Himself a Mother whom He knew became Him.' * 
And as it was becoming that a most pure God should have 
a Mother pure from all sin, He created her spotless. Saint 
Bemardine of Sienna, speaking of the diflFerent degrees of 
sanctilication, says, that 'the third is that obtained by 
becoming the Mother of God ; and that this sanctification 
consists in the entire removal of original sin. This is 
what took place in the Blessed Virgin : truly God created 
Mary such, both as to the eminence of her nature, and the 
perfection of grace with which He endowed her, as became 
Him who was to be bom of her.'^ Here we may apply 
the words of the Apostle to the Hebrews : " For it was 
fitting that we should have such a high priest; holy, 
innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners. "* A learned 
author observes, that, according to Saint Paul, it was 
fitting that our Blessed Eedeemer should not only be se- 
parated from sin, but also from sinners ; according to the 
explanation of Saint Thomas, who says, ' that it was neces- 
sary that He, who came to take away sins, should be 
separated from sinners, as to the fault under which Adam 
lay.*"* But how could Jesus Christ be said to be separated 
from sinners, if He had a Mother who was a sinner ? 

^ ractarhomiirain.nt homo fieret, nasdturus de homine talem sibi ex omniboB 
dcboit deligerc, imo condcre matrem, qualeni, et se decere sciebat, et nbi norerat 
placitoram. — Sup. Miss. Horn. ii. 

* Tertia fait sonctificatio tnaternalis, et hsc removet cnlpam originalem . . . 
Heec fuit in B. Virgine Maria matre Dd. Sane Dens . . . talem, tarn nobilitate 
natune, quam pcrfectione gratiee, condidit matrem, qualem eam decebat habere 
suam gloriosiBsimam nuyjestatem. — Pro. Concep. Iia. r. art. 1, cap. i. 

3 Talis enim decebat nt nobis esset pontifex, sanctiis, innocens, impollutiu, 
seeregatns a peccatoribus, et excelsior ca?Jis factufl. — Heb. vii, 26. 

* Oportnit eum, qui peccata vencrat tollcre, esse a peccatoribus segrcgattutt, 
quantum ad culpam cm Adam subjacuit.— 3 p. q. iv, art. 6, ad. S. 


Saint Ambrose says, ' that Christ chose this vessel into 
which He was about to descend, not of earth, but from 
heaven ; and He consecrated it a temple of purity.'^ The 
Saint alludes to the text of Saint Paul : "The first man 
was of the earth, earthly: the second man from heaven, 
heavenly." ^ The Saint calls the Divine Mother ' a heavenly 
vessel,' not because Mary was not earthly by nature, as 
heretics have dreamt, but because she was heavenly by grace; 
she was as superior to the angels of heaven in sanctity 
and purity, as it was becoming that she should be, in 
whose womb a King of Glory was to dwell. This agrees 
with that which Saint John the Baptist revealed to Saint 
Bridget, saying, * It was not becoming that the King of 
Glory shoidd repose otherwise than in a chosen vessel, 
exceeding all men and angels in purity.'^ And to this 
we may add that which the Eternal Pather Himself said 
to the same Saint : ' Mary was a clean and an unclean 
vessel : clean, for she was aU. fair ; but unclean, because 
she was bom of sinners ; though she was conceived with- 
out sin that My Son might be born of her without sin.'^ 
And remark these last words, * Mary was conceived with- 
out sin, that the Divine Son might be borii of her without 
sin.' Not that Jesus Christ could have contracted sin, 
but that He might not be reproached with even having a 
Mother infected with it, who would consequently have been 
the slave of the devil. 

The Holy Ghost says that " the glory of a man is from 
the honour of his father, and a father without honour is 
the disgrace of the son;"^ 'Therefore it was,' says an 
ancient writer, *that Jesus preserved the body of Mary 

> Nan de terra utique, Bed de coelo, vas sibi hoc per quod deaoenderet Chmtua 
elegit, et sacravit templum pudoris. — De lust-. V. cap. v. 

* Fiimus homo de tena> terremu : secundiui homo de oobIo oodestiB. — 1 Cor, 
»-, 47. 

' Non decuit Regem gloriee jaccre, nisi in vase pniissimo, et niundisBimo> et 
electisaimo, pne oiunibns Angehs et hominibus. — Rn. lib. i, cap. 31. 

^ Maria rait ras mundum, et non mundum. Munduin vero fuit, quia tota 
polchra . . . Bed non manduni fuit, quia . . . de peccatoribua nata est, licet sine 

Ssccato ooncepta, ut Filius Mens de ca, sine peccato naaceretur.— £». lib. v, Exp. 
et. xiii. 

> Gloria enini houuuis cxhouorc patris sui, et dedecus filii jwter sine bonore.— 
SctUs. iii, 13. 

252 ON makt's immaculate conception. 

from corruption after death ; for it would have redounded 
to His dishonour had that viipnal liesh with which He 
had clothed Himself become the food of worms;' * For,* he 
adds, ' corruption is a disgrace of human nature ; and as 
Jesus was not subject to it, Maiy was also exempted; for 
the flesh of Jesus is the flesh of Marv.' ^ But since the 
corruption of her body would have been a disgrace for 
Jesus Christ, because He was bom of her, how much 
greater would the disgrace have been had He been 
bom of a mother whose soul was once infected with the 
oorraption of sin? For not only is it trae that the flesh 
of Jesus is the same as that of Mary; 'but,* adds the 
same author, Hhe flesh of our Saviour, even after His 
resurrection, remained the same that He had taken from 
His Mother :* * The flesh of Christ is the flesh of Mary, and 
though it was glorified by the glory of His resurrection, yet 
it remains the same that was taken from Mary.' ^ Hence 
the Abbot Arnold of Chartres says, ' The flesh of Maiy and 
that of Christ are one ; and, therefore, I consider the glory 
of the Son as being not so much common to, as one with 
that of His Mother.' ^ And now if this is tme, supposing 
that the Blessed Virgin was conceived in sin, though the 
Son could not have contracted its stain, nevertheless His 
having united flesh to Himself which was once infected 
with sin, a vessel of uncleanness, and subject to Lucifer, 
would always have been a blot. 

Mary was not only the ^Mother, but the worthy Mother 
of our Saviour. She i% called so by all the holy Fathers. 
Saint Bernard says, * Thou alone wast found worthy to be 
chosen as the one in whose Virginal womb the King of 
kings should have His first abode.' ^ Saint Thomas of 
Villanova says, * Before she conceived, she was already fit 

^ Putredo namaue et vermis, humanse est 0]}probriiuu conditionis. a quo oppro- 
hrio, etmi Jesus sit aitieixtis, natnra Maries excipitur . . . caro enim Jesu, caro est 
Mariie. — De Aasunvp. B. M. V. lib. 

» Caro enim Chnsti, quamvis gloria resurrectionis faerit magniiicata . . . eadem 
timen camis inanflit et manet natnra, quse suscepta est de Maria. — lb. 

* Una est Mariee et Christi caro . . . FiUi ^oriam nun niatre,non tarn commune 
judioo, quam eandem. — De Land. B. M. 

♦ Tu sola inventa es digna, ut in tua Tirginali aula, Uex, regtim . . . piimam sibi 
kaansionem . . . elegit.— l/erpr. a4 B. V. 

ON hary's immaculate conception. 258 

to be the Mother of God.'^ The holy Church herself 
attests that Manr merited to be the Mother of Jesus 
Christ, saying, ' the Blessed Virgin, who merited to bear 
in her womb Christ our Lord;'' and Saint Thomas Aquinas, 
explaining these words, says, that * the Blessed Virgin is 
said to have merited to bear the Lord of all : not that she 
merited His Incarnation, but that she merited, by the 
graces she had received, such a degree of purily and sanc- 
tity, that she could becomingly be the Mother of (]k)d ;* ^ 
that is to say, Mary could not merit the incarnation of 
the Eternal Word, but by Divine grace she merited such 
a degree of perfection as to render her worthy to be the 
Mother of a God, according to what Saint Peter Damian 
also writes : ' Her singular sanctity, the effect of grace, 
merited that she alone should be judged worthy to receive 
a God.' * 

And now, supposing that Mary was worthy to be the 
Mother of Gk>d, ' what excellency and what perfection was 
there that did not become her ?' ^ asks Saint Thomas of 
Villanova. The angelic Doctor says, 'that when Gk>d 
chooses any one for a particular dignity, He renders him 
iit for it;* whence he adds, *that God, having chosen 
Mary for His Mother, He also, by His grace, rendered her 
worthy of this highest of all dignities.' 'The Blessed 
Vij^in was Divinely chosen to be the Mother of Gk>d, 
and, therefore, we cannot doubt that God had fitted her 
by His grace for this dignity; and we are assured of 
it by the angel: ''For thou hast found grace with God; 
behold, thou shalt conceive,"' &c.* And thence the Saint 

1 Anteqnain condperet Tilitim Dei, jam idonea oat, at esset Mater Dei.— 
Scrm. m, de Nat. B. V. 

s Ref^ cgdU Ifetare . . . quiaqucm meroisti portarc . . . Reiurrexit sicut dixit. 
— A»tipk. temp. Paseh. 

* Beata Vir{(0 dicitur meruisse portare Dominum omnium : non quia meruit 
ipsum iucamari, sed quia meruit ex gpratia libi data, ilium puritatis et Bunctitatis 
l^adum, ut congrue posset esse Mater Dei. — S p. q. S, art. xi, ad 8. 

* Venerabilis Mater Domini, septem Sancti Spintuadonis . . . dotata ftiit. Quam 
utique setema sapientia . . . talem construxit, ana digna fteret lUum sutcwere. 
Jerm. ii. dc Nat. B. M. V. 

B Qua autem excelleutia, mis perfectio, quae magnitudo decuit earn, nt esset 
idonea Mater Dei. — Serm. iii, de Nat. B. M. r. 

* Beata autem Virgo ftiit electa divinitus, ut esset mntor Del ; et idco non est 
dobitandim quin Deus prr snnm gratinni, eani ad hoc idnneHiii reddidit. sfriuuluTf 

254 ov Mary's imm aculate coxckption. 

argues that 'the Blessed Tirg:iii never committed any 
actual sin, not even a venial one.' * Otherwise/ he says, 
^she would not have been a Mother worthy of Jesus Christ ; 
fiwr the ignominy of the Mother would also have been that of 
the Son, for He would have had a sinner for His Mother.'^ 
And now if Mary, on account of a single venial sin, which 
does not deprive a soul of Divine grace, would not have 
been a Mother worthy of God, how much more imworthy 
would she have been had she contracted the sruilt of 
original sin, which would have made her an enemy of 
God, and a slave of the devil ? And this reflection it was 
that made Saint Augustine utter those memorable words, 
that * when speaking of Mary for the honour of our Lord,' 
. whom she merited to have for her Son, he would not 
entertain even the question of sin in her ; ' for we know,' 
he says, * that through Him, who it is e^ddent was without 
sin, and whom she merited to conceive and bring forth, 
she received grace to conquer all sin.' ^ 

Therefore, as Saint Peter Damain observes, we must 
consider it as certain 'that the Incarnate Word chose 
Himself a becoming Mother, and one of whom He would 
not have to be ashamed.' ^ Saint Proclus also says, ' that 
He dwelt in a womb which he had created, free from all 
that might be to His dishonour.** It was no shame 
to Jesus Christ, when He heard Himself contemptuously 
called by the Jews the Son of Mary, meaning that He was 
the Son of a poor woman : " Is not His Mother called 
Mary?"*» for He came into this world to give us an 

quod Angelus ad earn dicit, " Inveuisti gi-atiani apud Deuni : ccce ooncipies, &c." 
- -S p. q. xxvii, art. 4, cond. 

1 1*1011 . . . foisset idonea mater Dei, si peccasset aliquando . . . quia . . . igno- 
minia Matris, ad Filiain redundasset. — Tb. 

* Excepta itaque sancta ^-imne Maria, de qua, propter honoremBomini, nuUam 
prorsus ciua de peccatis agitur, baberi volo qusesnonem : unde enini scinms, 
quod ei, plus gratue ooUatum fuerit ad rincendiuu, onmi ex parte peccatum, qua? 
concipere ac parere meruit, quern constat nullum habuisse peccatum.— 2>(? Kat. «t 
(h«t§a. contra Pelag. cap. xxxvi. 

B (^nam utione aetema "Sapientia . . . talem con.struxit, qute digua fieret ilium 
sugciiiere, ct ae intemeratae camis sufe visceribus procreare. — Ssrm. ii, »» JS'at. 
Jt. M. V. 

* Litra viscera, qiue citraomnem dedecoris notam condiderat, mh^hitai .—Jfant . 
de Not. D. N. J. C. 

- Nonne mater ejus dioitur Maria?— J/wf/A. xiii, £».'. 

ON KABY's immaculate OONGSPTION. 265 

example of humility and patience. But, on the other 
hand, it would imdoubtedly have been a disgrace, could 
He have heard the devil say, *was not His Mother a 
sinner ? was He not born of a wicked Mother, who was 
once our slave?* It would even have been unbecoming 
had Jesus Clirist been bom of a woman whose body was 
deformed, or crippled, or possessed by devils ; but how 
much more woidd it have been so had He been bom of a 
woman whose soul had been once deformed bv sin, and in 
the possession of Lucifer ? 

Ah ! indeed, Grod who is Wisdom itself, weU knew how 
to prepare Himself a becoming dwelling, in which to 
reside on earth : " Wisdom hath built herself a house." ^ 
''^The most High hath sanctified His own tabernacle . . . 
God will help it in the morning early." ^ David says, 
that our Lord sanctified this His dwelling " in the morn- 
ing early ;" that is to say, from the beginning of her life, 
to render her worthy of Himself; for it was not becoming 
that a Holy God should choose Himself a dwelling that 
was not holy : " Holiness becometh thy house." ' And if 
God declares that He will never enter a mabcious soul, 
or dwell in a body subject to sin, " for Avisdom will not 
enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to 
sins,"^ how can we ever think that the Son of God 
chose to dwell in the soul and body of Mary, without 
having previously sanctified and preserved it from eveiy 
stain of sin ; for, according to the doctrine of Saint Thomas, 
' the Eternal Word dwelt not only in the soul of Mary but 
even in her womb.' ^ The holy Church sings, ' Thou, O 
Lord, hast not disdained to dwell in the Virgin's womb.'^ 
YeS) for he would have disdained to have taken flesh in 
the womb of an Agnes, a Gertmde, a Teresa, because 

1 Sapientia Gediticavit sibi domiuu. — Prov. ix, 1. 

* Sanctiiicavit tabernaculum auniu Altisaimus . . . adjuvabit earn Deus mane 
dilucnlo. — P*. xlv, 5, 6. 

* J>omum tuam deoet sanctitudo. — Ps. xcii, 5. 

* In malevolam animam non intrnbit sapientia, nee habitabit in corpore 8iib-> 
dito peccatiB. — Sav. i, 4. 

s Singulari moao Del lllius, qui est Dei sapientia, in ipsa habitavit; non solum 
in anima, sed ctiam in utero. — 3 p. q. xxvii, art, 4, concl. 
fi Non homiisti Virginis uterum. 


tiiese Tie-ins, thougli holy, woe nereidicless for a time 
stained witb oiiginal sin; but He did not disdun to 
become man. in the womb of Marr, because this bdoTed 
Virgin was ahmrs pare and free from the kast diadow 
of sin, and was nerer possessed bj the infiemal sapent. 
And, therefore. Saint Angnsdne says, ' that the Son of 
Ciod nerer made Himsdf a mote woithy dvcllii^ than 
Maij, who was never possessed bj the cnenrr, ixr de- 
spoiled of her ornaments.' ^ 

On the other hand. Saint Cyril of Alexandria adc^, 
'Whoerer heard of an architect who boih himself a tem|de, 
and yielded np the fffst possession of it to his greatest 
enemy r - 

Yes, ssnrs Saint Methodius, speaking on the same 
subject; that Lord who commanded us to honour our 
parents, would not do otherwise, when He became man, 
than observe it, by giving His Mother every grace, 
and honour : — * He who said Honour thy fieither and thy 
mother, that He might observe His own decree, gave all 
grace and honour to His Mother.' ^ Therefore the author 
of the book already quoted, from the works of Saint 
Augustine, says, 'that we must certainly believe that Jesus 
Christ preserved the body of Mary from corruption after 
death ; for if He had not done so. He would not have ob- 
served the law,' which 'at the same time that it commands 
us to honour our mother it forbids us to show bar dis- 
respect.' ^ But how little would Jesus have guarded His 
Mother's honour had He not preserved her from Adam's 
sin ? ' Certainly, that son would sin,' says the Augustinian 
father Thomas of Strasburg, ' who, having it in his power 
to preserve his mother from original sin, did not do so ;' 

1 Nullam dig^uiorem domiun sibi YSixu Dei aedifiravit qoam Maruun, que nnn- 
qnam fait ab hostibiu capta, neqne stds omamentis 8poIiata.f 

' Qids imquam de architecto andmt, qui sniim ipdns tcmphim oonstnixerit, 
et in eo liabitare profaibitns sit? — Horn. xi. 

* Qui dixit, "Honora Patrem tuum et Matrem,** longe potins id ipse pne- 
stare volens, gratiam servayerit ac qaod ita statoit, ei, qme ministrant at sic 
sponte nascoetur, IMvinisquc laudibus decorarerit, qoam sine patre, rehit ininip^ 
tarn siW matrem ascirit. — Serm. de Symeone et Amua. 

* hex enim, sicat honorem matris pnedpit, ita inbonorationem damnat. — lU. 
de jMtump. B. V. int. op. S. JugustiM. 


' but that which would be a sin in us/ oontinues the same 
author, 'must certainly be considered unbecoming in the 
Son of God, who, whilst He coidd make His Mother 
immaculate, did it not.* 'Ah, no!' exclaims Gerson, 
' since thou, the supreme Prince, choosest to have a Mother, 
certainly Thou owest her honour. But now if Thou didst 
permit her, who was to be the dwelling of all purity, to 
be in the abomination of or^;inal sin, certainly it would 
appear that that law was not well fulfilled.' ^ 

* Moreover, we know,' says Saint Bemardine of Sienna, 
* that the Divine Son came into the world more to redeem 
Mary than aU other creatures.'^ There are two means 
by which a person may be redeemed, as Saint Augustine 
teaches us — the one by raising him up after having 
fallen, and the other by preventing him from falling;^ and 
this last means is doubtless the most honourable. ' He is 
more honourably redeemed,' says the learned Suarez, 'who 
is prevented from falling, than he who after falling is 
raised up ;'^ for thus the injury or stain is avoided which 
the soul always contracts by falling. This being the case, 
we ought certainly to believe that Mary was redeemed in 
the more honourable way, and the one which became the 
Mother of Gt>d, as Saint Bonaventure remarks ; ' for it is 
to be believed that the Hofy Ghost, as a very special favour, 
redeemed and preserved her from original sin by a new 
kind of sanctification, and this in the veiy moment of her 
conception; not that sin was in her, but that it otherwise 

> Cnm ta vmamiis Frinoeps, via habere Matrem camaliter in terra, iDi debebis 
hanocen, kc. Nunc aatem M^pareret iflam Iqgem non bene ««lini|ilffri, ai in hnjoa- 
modi abomiBatione, imnumdiaa, et sntiiectione peccati, aliquo ttmpare jienmtteres 
iUam, qiup ease debet habitaadnm* tempfaun, et palatnimtotiiia puitatia. -Serm. 
de Concep. B. M. V. 

' Chnatna pbu pro ipM redimenda venit, qnam pro omni alia oeatwa. — Semi. 
ie Cottetp. B. M. V. art. iii, cap. 3. 

* MauumUio w P*. Ixxxv, veraic 3. 

* Duplex eat rednnendi modus, anna erigendo lapaum, alter piweniendo 
jangam lapsnnun, ne cadat, juxta ilhid Psalm. 1^ -. " Redemiati aemun tmun de 
f^a&a maiigno;" id eat, cnstodiati, ne interficeretar. £x his antem poaterior 
modna eat, sine dnbio opna nug<Ri8 gratise, et benendentia, et ceetena ^aribna, 
Bujona afflcadat, aepotixtalafl; erve aisG«it,ntChnataa Matrem aiuan nobiliaBimo 
modo redimeret.— jDr IneanuU. p. 3, q. xxvii, art. 3, disp. 8, aect. 5. 

22 § 

258 ON maey's immaculate conception. 

would have been.*^ The sermon, from which this passage 
is taken, is proved by Frassen ^ to be really the work of 
the holy Doctor above named. On the same subject Car- 
dinal Cusano elegantly remarks, that 'others had Jesus 
as a liberator, but to the most Blessed Virgin He was a 
pre-liberator;'^ meaning, that all others had a Redeemer 
who delivered them from sin with which they were already 
defiled, but that the most Blessed Virgin had a Redeemer 
^ho, because He was her Son, preserved her from ever 
being defiled by it. 

In fine, to conclude this point in the words of Hugo of 
Saint Victor, the tree is known by its firuits. If the Lamb 
was always immaculate, the Mother must also have been 
always immaculate : * Such the Lamb, such the Mother of 
the Lamb ; for the tree is known by its fruits.'* Hence 
this same Doctor salutes Mary, saying, * worthy Mother 
of a worthy Son ;' meaning, that no other than Mary was 
worthy to be the Mother of such a Son, and no other than 
Jesus was a worthy Son of such a Mother: and then he 
adds these words : ' fair Mother of beauty itself, O high 
Mother of the most High, O Mother of God.'^ Let us 
then address this most Blessed Mother in the words of 
Saint Udephonsus, 'Suckle, O Mary, thy Creator, give 
milk to Him who made thee and who made thee such that 
He could be made of thee.'® 

Third point. — Since then it was becoming that the 
Father should preserve Mary from sin as His daughter, 
and the Son as His Mother, it was also becoming that the 

* Scot. Acad, toitt. viii, a. 8, sec. 3, q. i, No. 5.t 
3 Freeliberatorem enim Virgo Sancta habuit, ceeteri Hberatorem et post-Iibera- 

torem. Christus enim sic omninni liberator, quod et Virginia liberator et pne 
liberator, caeterorum vero liberator et post-liberator. Ipsa sola post Adse lapsum, 
non indigpa, sed plena orieinali justitia, ut Eva, et multomagis, creatafuit. — Exci- 
tat. lib. viii, Serm. Stent HI. int. tp. 

* Talis . . . Agnus, qoalis Mater Agni . . . Quoniam omnis arbor ex fructu sue 
cognoscitor. — De Verho Inc. Coll. iii. 

^ O digna digni, formosa pulchri, munda incormpti, excelsa altissimi. Mater 
Dei, Sponsa Regis setemi. — Serm. iii, de Assump. B. M. V. 

* Lacta Maria, Creatorem tunm, lacta panem coeti, lacta prsemium mnndi . . < 
Lacta ergo enm qui fecit te, qui talem fecit te ut ipse fieret ex te. — Serm, dc 
Nat. B. 3f.r. 

ON Mary's immaculate conception. 259 

Holy Ghost slioiild preserve her as His spouse. Saint 
Augustine says that * Mary was that only one who merited 
to be called the Mother and Spouse of God.'^ For Saint 
Anselm asserts that ' the Divine Spirit, the love itself of 
the Father and the Son, came corporally into Mary, and 
enriching her with graces above all creatures, reposed in 
her and made her His Spouse, the Queen of heaven and 
earth.* 2 He says that he came into her corporally ; that 
is, as to the effect : for He came to form of her immaculate 
body the immaculate body of Jesus Christ, as the Arch- 
angel had already predicted to her : " The Holy Ghost 
sliail come upon thee.**^ And therefore it is, says Saint 
Thomas, * that Mary is called the temple of the Lord and 
the sacred resting-place of the Holy Ghost ; for by the 
operation of the Holy Ghost she became the Mother of the 
Incarnate Word.'* 

And now had an excellent artist the power to make his 
bride such as he could represent her, what pains would he 
not take to render her as beautiful as possible ? Who then 
can say that the Holy Ghost did otherwise with Mary, when 
He could make her who was to be His spouse, as beautiful 
as it became Him that she should be ? 

Ah no ! He acted as it became him to act ; for this same 
Lord Himself declares : " Thou art all fair, O my love, 
and there is not a spot in thee."^ These words, say Saint 
Ildephonsus and Saint Thomas, are properly to be under- 
stood of Mary, as Cornelius a Lapide remarks ; and Saint 
Bemardine of Sienna,^ and Saint Lawrence Justiman,^ 
assert that they are to be understood precisely as applying 
to her Immaculate Conception ; whence Blessed Raymond 

1 Ha?c est qnee sola meruit Mater et Sponsa vocari. — Senii. de Asntmpi 
B. M. Ft 

^ Ipse . . . Spiritus Dei^ ipse amor Omnipotentis Fatris etlllii . . . ipse iuquam, 
corporaliter, ut bene dicam, venit in earn, singolarique gratia pne omnibas qiuc 
rreata sunt, sive in ccelo, sive in terra, requie%it in ea, etreranamac imperatricem 
ooeli et terne, et omnium quae in eis sunt, fedt earn.— Z)ff Excel. Virg. cap. ir. 

' Spiritus Sanctus superveniet in it.— Luc. i, 35. 

^ Unde dicitur tenipmm Domini, sacrarium Spiritus Sancti, quia ooacepit ex 
Spiritu Sancto. — Of use. viii. 

'^ Tota pulchra es arnica mea, et macula non est in te. — Cant, iv, 7. 

• Serm. de Concep. B. M. V. art. ii, c. 2. 

7 Serm. de Nat. B. M. V, 

260 ON maky's immaculate cokceptiok. 

Jordano addresses her, saying, ' Thou art all fair, O most 
glorious Virgin, not in part, but wholly ; and no stain of 
mortal, venial, or original sin, is in thee.'^ 

The Holy Ghost signified the same thing when He 
called this His spouse an enclosed garden and a sealed 
fountain : " My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, a 
fountain sealed up."^ ' Mary,' says Saint Sophronius, 'was 
this enclosed garden and sealed fountain, into which no 
guile could enter, against which no fraud of the enemy 
coidd prevail, and who always was holy in mind and body.' ^ 
Saint Bernard likewise says, addressing the Blessed Virgin, 
' Thou art an enclosed garden, into which the sinner's hand 
has never entered to pluck its flowers.'^ 

We know that this Divine Spouse loved Mary more than 
all the other Saints and Angels put together, as Father 
Suarez, with Saint Lawrence Justinian, and others assert. 
He loved her from the veiy beginning and exalted her in 
sanctity above all others, as it is expressed by David in 
the Psalms : " The foundations thereof are in the holy 
mountains : the Lord loveth the gates of Sion above aU 
the tabernacles of Jacob ... a man is bom in her, and the 
Highest Himself hath founded her."^ Words which all 
signify that Mary was holy from her conception. The 
same thing is signified by other passages addressed to her 
by the Holy Ghost. In Proverbs we read ," Many daugh- 
ters have gathered together riches : thou hast surpassed 
them all."^ If Mary has surpassed all others in the riches 
of grace, she must have had original justice, as Adam and 

I Tota . . . pulchra et Virgo g^orioriflsima, non in parte, sed in toto: et maeola 
peccati, sive mortalis, tive venialis, sive originaliB, non est in te. — Contempt. B.V. 
cap. ii. 

^ Hortus oondusiu soror mea sponsa, hortus conclturoa, fons signatns. — 
Cant, iv, 12. 

' Hsec est hortas conchisus, fons signatos, putens aqnamm viventiom, ad 
qnam nuHi potuerunt doll iirumpere : nee prsevalnit frous inimici, sed pennaosit 
sancta, mente et corpore. — Serm. de Assumf. B M. V. int. op. S. Hieron. 

* Hortna concloBus ta es Dei genitrix, aa quern deflorandum manus peccatoria 
nunquam Introivit. — Depr. ad. B. V. M. 

^ Jnindamenta cgus in mantibos Sanctis :I)iligit Bominus portas Sion super 
omnia tabemacnla Jacob . . . Homo natus est in ea : et ipse fundavit earn Aliis- 
simns.— P«. Ixxxvi, 1, 6. 

• Multee flU« congrcgarcrunt dititias: ttt snpergresaa es universas. — Pror. 
xxxi, 29. 

ON mauy's immaculate conception. 261 

the Angels had it. In the Canticles we read, " There are 
. . . young maidens without number. One is my dove, 
my perfect one (in the Hebrew it is my entire, my immacu- 
late one), is but one, she is the only one of her Mother." ^ 
All just souls are daughters of Divine grace ; but amongst 
these Mary was the dove without the gall of sin, the perfect 
one without spot in her origin, the otie conceived in grace. 

Hence it is that the ^ngel, before she became the Mother 
of God, already foimd her fuU of grace, and thus saluted her, 
" Hail, full of Grace ;" on which words Saint Sophronius 
writes, that ' grace is given paifially to other Saints, but 
to the Blessed Virgin all was given.' ^ So much so, says 
Saint Thomas, that * grace not only rendered the soul, but 
even the flesh of Mary holy, so that this Blessed Virgin 
might be able to clothe the Eternal Word with it.'^ Now 
all this leads us to the conclusion that Maiy, from the 
moment of her conception, was enriched and filled with 
Divine grace by the Holy Ghost, as Peter of Celles remarks, 
' the plenitude of grace was in her ; for from the very 
moment of her conception the whole grace of the Divinity 
overflowed upon her, by the outpouring of the Holy 
Ghost.'* Hence Saint Peter Damian says, 'that the Holy 
Spirit was about to bear her off entirely to Himself, who 
was chosen and pre-elected by God.'^ The Saint says, to 
bear her off, to denote the holy velocity of the Divine 
Spirit, in being beforehand, in making this Spouse His 
own, before Lucifer should take possession of her. 

Finally, I wish to conclude this discourse, which I have 
prolonged beyond the limits of the others, because our 

^ Adolescentulamiu non est numerus. Una est columba mea, perfecta mea, 
ttna est matris stue. — Cant, vi, 7, 8. 

* Gratia plena: et bene plena, qnia eeeteris per partes prsestatur : Manee vero 
siniul se tota infadit plenitndo gratis. — Strm. ae Assump. B. M. V. int. op. S. 

* Anima B. Vii^nis ita fait plena, quod ex ea refundit gratia in carnem, ut dc 
ipsa eoncipcret Deam. — Opvjc. vm. 

* Simul coUecta gratite plcnitudo, nnllatenus creatnne humanee capacitate 
potest apprehend! . . . privilegio . . . Filii sui, supra totius creatune merituni 
Mater Dei aspersione Spiiitus Sancti, tota Deitatis gratia est pcrfusa. — Lib. do 
Panih. cap. xii. 

* A Deo electam et preeeleetam, totam earn raptnros erat sibi Spiritus Sanctus 
^Serm. ie Jnnwit. £. M. V, 

262 ON maby's immaculate oonosfhon. 

Congregatiou has tMs Bkssed Tirgin Maiy, precisely imder 
the title of her immaculate Conception, for its principal 
Patroness : I say that I wish to conclude by giving, in as 
few words as possible, the reasons which make me feel 
certain, and which, in my opinion, ought to convince every 
one of the truth of so pious a belief, and which is so glori-^ 
ous for the Divine Mother : that is, that she was free from 
original sin. 

There are many Doctors who maintain that Maty was 
exempted from contractingeven the debt of sin; for instance. 
Cardinal Galatino,^ Cardial Cusano,^De Ponte,* SaJazar,* 
Catharinus,^ Novarino,^ Viva, De Lugo,7 Egidio, Bic^^lio^ 
and others. And this opinion is also probable ; for if it is 
true that the wills of all men were included in that of Adam, 
as being the head of all, and this opinion is maintaioetLas 
probable by Gonet,® Habert,^ and others, founded oil the 
doctrine of Saint Paul, contained in the fifth chapter to 
the Bomans. If this opinion, I say, is probable, it is 2ds(> 
probable that Mary did not contract the debt of sin ; for, 
whilst God distinguished her from the common of menk by 
so many graces, it ought to be piously believed that He 
did not include her wiU in that of Adam. 

This opinion is only probable, and I adhere to it as 
being more glorious for my sovereign Lady. But I con- 
sider the opinion, that Mary did not contract the sin of 
Adam, as certain ; and it is considered so, and even as 
proximately definable, as an article of faith (as they express 
it), by Cardinal Everardj^® Duval,^^ Eaynauld,^ Ix)ssada,^^ 
Viva,^* and many others. I omit, however^ the revelations 
which confirm this belief, particularly those of Saint Bridget, 
which were approved ofby Cardinal Torquemada,^^ and by 
four sovereign Pontiffs, and which are found in various 

1 De Area, lib. vii, c. 18.t * lib. viii, Excii. ex Serm. Sicut HI. hU. tp^ 

3 Lib. ii, Cant. ex. 10.+ ♦ Be Virg. Cone, c, vii, n. 7.+ 

* De Pecc. otig. c. ult.t « JJmiir. Vir0. Excurstu, xtiii. 

7 P. viii, diap. i, q. 2, art. 3. ^ ji£an. to. iii, tr. 6, c. 6, No. S.t 

9 Tom. iii de Fee. c. 7 + 

10 Per uBum homiaem peccattun in huuc mundtun intiwrit ... in ^ao (km) 
oranes peccaverunt. — Bom. r, 12. ^i In Exam. Tkeol.i 

w 1» 2, Q«. 2 dn Pece.i " Pitt Litgd. No. 9».f 

'* Disc. Th. de Jmm. Conc.\ is q^. Protl. ad Tmt.f 

ON maiy's immaculate conception. 263 

pftrt3 of the sixth book of har Bevelations.^ But on no 
aiHaoaat can I omit the opinions of the holy Fathers on this 
subject, wh^eby to show their unanimity in conceding 
tbi» pmvilege to the Divine Mother. Saint Ambrose says, 
' Beeeive me not from Sarah, but from Mary, that it may be 
an nncomipted Virgin, a Virgin free by grace from every 
stain of sin.'^ Origen, speaking of Mary, asserts that 
* she was not infected by the venomous breath of the ser- 
pent.'^ Saint Ephrem, that 'she was immaculate, and 
remote from all stain of sin.'^ An ancient writer (Saint 
FulgentiusP), in a sermon, found amongst the works of Saint 
Augustine, on the words " Hail, fuU of grace," says, * By 
these words the angel shows that she was altogether [remark 
the word altogether] exduded from the wrath of the first 
sentence, and restored to the frill grace of blessing.'^ The 
author of an old work, called the Breviary of Saint Jerome, 
afi&ims that ^ that cloud was never in darkness, but always 
in iight/^ Saint Cyprian, or whoever may be the author 
of the work on the 77th Psalm, says, *Nor did justice 
endure that that vessel of election should be open to com- 
mon injuries ; for being far exalted above others, she par- 
took of their nature, not of their sin. '7 Saint Amphi- 
locbius,' that * He who formed the first Virgin without 
deformity, also made the second one without spot or sin.'^ 
Saint Sophronius, that 'the Virgin is therefore called 
immaculate, for in nothing was she corrupt.'® Saint 

1 lib. vi, cap. 12, 49, 5B. 

* SoBcipe me non ex Sara, sed ex Maria; ut incorrupta sit Virgo, sed Virgo 
per Kratiaia ab omni Integra labe peccatj. — Serm. xxii in P«. cxviii. No. SO. 

» Jfec serpentis venenosis afflatibus infecta eat— Horn, i.t 

* Inunacmata et intemerata, incorrupta et prorsns pudica, atque ab omni sordc 
ac labe peccati alienissima. — J[d S. Dei Gen. OreU. 

* Cum dixit " gratia plena," ostendit ex integro, iram excluBam pnnue sententi», 
et plenam benemctioms gratiam restitutam.— /«/. op. S. Augtutmiy Serm. vii, de 
Nat. Dam. 

* Nu1)eu levem debemus sanctamMariam acdpere . . . £t dediudt eos in uube 
diei. inilcbre dixit, diei : Nubes enioi ilia nou fait in tenebris, sed semper in 
hipe. — Brev. S. JB'ieron. in Ps. bcxm 

7 Nee sustfaiebat justitia, ut illud ras dectionis communibus lassaretor injuriis ; 

3noniam plurimum a ce^teris differens, natura communicabat, nop culpa. — Lib 
e Card. Op. Christi, <U Nativ. ^ 

8 Qui antic^uam iUam virginem sine probro condiditj Ipse, et secundam, sin ' 
nota et crimine fabricatus est. — Oral, in S. Deip. et Stmeon. 

* Virgo sancta accipitur, et anima corpusque santiftcatur; atque ita mipistravit 
in incamatione Creatoris, ut munda et casta, atque incontaminatu ... Ex inviolabil i 

264! ON maky's immaculate conception. 

Ildephonsus argues, that * it is evident that she was free 
from original sin.'^ Saint John Damascen says that, * the 
serpent never had any access to this paradise.'^ Saint 
Peter Damian, that * the flesh of the Virgin, taken from 
Adam, did not admit of the stain of Adam.'^ Saint 
Bruno affirms, ^ that Mary is that uncorrupted earth which 
God blessed, and was therefore free from all contagion of 
sin.'* Saint Bonaventure, * that our Sovereign Lady was 
full of preventing grace for her sanctification ; that is, pre- 
servative grace against the corruption of original sin.'^ 
Saint Bernardine of Sienna argues, that ' it is not to be 
believed that He, the Son of God, would be bom of a 
Virgin, and take her flesh, were she in the slightest degree 
stained with original sin/* Saint Lawrence Justinian 
aflirms, * that she was prevented in blessings, from her 
very conception.' 7 And the blessed Eaymond Jordano, 
on the words " Thou hast found grace," says, * thou hast 
found a singular grace, most sweet Virgin, that of pre- 
servation from original sin, &c.'^ And many other Doc- 
tors speak in the same sense. 

But finally, there are two arguments that conclusively 
prove the truth of this pious beUef. The first of these is 
the imiversal concurrence of the faithful. Father Egidius, 
of the Presentation,^ assures us that all the religious orders 

namque et virgmaU saogiuine atque immaculalse Vii^pnis Mariic Verbnm vere 
factum est incarnatum. — ffarduitt. torn, iii, Cone. Acumen. 6, act. 11. 

I Constat, earn ab omni originali peccato immimem fuisse. — Cont. dint, de 
nrgimt. K V. M. 

* In limic paradistnn serpenti aditum non patnit. — Or. ii, de Nat. JB. M. V. 

3 Cnro . . . Virdnis ex Adam assumpta, macule Adse non admisit. — S«rm. de 
Jaaumfi. B. M. V. 

^ Hfec est . . . incormpta ten-a ilia, cni benedixit Domiuus, ab omni propterea 
peceati contaraone libera, per qnam vitee Tiamagnovimus, et promissam ventatem 
accepimus. — In Ps. ci. 

^ I)omina nostra fait plena ^tia preeveniente in sua sanctificatione, natia 
scilicet preeseiratiya contra fceditatem originalis culpa. — Serm. ii, de B. M. V. 

' Non est credendum, quod ipse Filius JDei voluent nasci ex vii^e, et sumere 
eius camem, quse csset maculata ex aliquo peccato originali.— 5fn». in Feria iii, 
post Bascha. 

7 Ab ipsa namque sui conceptione, in benedictionibus est preeventa. — Serm. in 
Annunc. B. M. V. 

s Invenisti Virgo Maria, gratiam caelestera ; ciuia fnerunt in te ab origiuis labe 
pKeservatio, &c. — Contempt, de B. V. M. cap. vi. 

» Be Prtre. V. q. vi, a. 4.t 


Mlow this opinion ; and a modem autiiOT tells ns tliat 
though there are ninety-two writers of the order of Saint 
Dominic against it, nevertheless there are a hundred and 
thirty-six in favour of it, even in that religious body. But 
that which above all should persuade us that our pious 
belief is in accordance with the general sentiment of Catho- 
lics is, that we are assured of it, in the celebrated bull of 
Alexander YII, ' SoUicitudo omnium ecclesiarum,' pub- 
lished in 1661, in which he says, * This devotion and homage 
towards the Mother of God was again increased and pro- 
pagated ... so that the universities having adopted this 
opinion (that is the pious one) already nearly all Catholics 
have embraced it.'^ And in fact this opinion is defended 
in the universities of the Sorbonne, Alcala, Salamanca, 
Coimbra, Cologne, Mentz, Naples, and many others, in 
which all who take their degrees, are obliged to swear 
that they wiU defend the doctrine of Mary's Immaculate 
Conception. The learned Petavius mainly rests his proofs 
of the truth of this doctrine on the argument taken from 
the general sentiment of the faithful.^ An argument, 
wnt«s the most learned bishop Julius Tomi,^ which can- 
not do otherwise than convince ; for in fact, if nothing else 
does, the general consent of the faithful makes us certain 
of the sanctification of Mary in her mother's womb, and 
of her Assumption, in body and soul, into heaven. Why 
then should not the same general feeling and belief, on the 
part of the faithful, also make us certain of her Immacu- 
late Conception ? 

The second reason, and which is stronger than the first, 
that convinces us that Mary was exempt from original sin, 
is the celebration of her Immacidate Conception commanded 
by the universal Church. And on this subject I see, on 
the one hand, that the Church celebrates the first mo- 
ment in which her soul was created and infused into her 

^ AveUxaBKU et piopogata ftiit pUtas luec et cnltu* erga Deiparam . . . ita ut 
accedentibaB quoane ploruqae oelebiiDribuB Academiis ad hanc sententiam, jam 
fen om&M Caihoud earn amplnctantmr. 

* Tom. T^Iib. 14, cap. 2, No. 10. 

* In Jdn. ad JEst. 1. ii, dirt. 8, No. 2. t 


266 ON Mary's immaculate concevtiok. 

body, for this was declared by Alexander VII, In the above- 
named bull, in which he says, that the Church gives the same 
worship to Mary in her Conception, which is given to her 
by those who hold the pious belief, that she was conceived 
without original sin. On the other hand, I hold it as 
certain, that the Church cannot celebrate anything which 
is not holy, according to the doctrine of the holy Pope 
Saint Leo,i and that of the Sovereign Pontiff Saint Euse- 
bius : *In the Apostolic See the Catholic religion was always 
preserved spotless/' All theologians, with Saint Augus- 
tine,^ Saint Bernard,* and Saint Thomas, agree on this 
point, and the latter to prove that Mary was sanctified 
before her birth, makes use of this very argument: 
' The Church celebrates the nativity of the Blessed Virgin ; 
but a feast is celebrated only for a Saint : therefore the 
Blessed Virgin was sanctified in her Mother's womb.'^ 
But if it is certain, as the angelic Doctor says, that Mary 
was sanctified in her Mother's womb, because it is only 
on that supposition that the Church can celebrate her 
Nativity, why are we not to consider it as equally certain 
that Mary was preserved from original sin from the first 
moment of her Conception, knowing as we do, that it is 
in this sense that the Church herself celebrates the feast ? 
And, finally, in confirmation of this great privilege of 
Mary, we may be allowed to add the well-known innimier- 
able and prodigious graces that our Lord is daily pleased 
to dispense throughout the kingdom of Naples, by means 
of the billets of her Immaculate Conception. I could re- 
fer to many which passed, so to say, through the hands of 
fathers of our own congregation, but I will content myself 
with two which are truly admirable. 

1 Ep. Decret. iv, c. 2. t 

' In Sede Apostolica extra macnlain semper est Catholica serrata religio.— 
Deer, xjor. No. 1, c. in sede. t 

* Serm. civ et cxiii. t 

* Sp. ad Can. Ludg. , . 

' £cclesia celebrat nativitatem Beatee Virginis : noli antem celelmttur festtmi 
in Ecdesia nisi pro aliqno sancto. Ergo B^ta Virgo in ipsa sua natiritate foit 
•ancta. Fuit ergo in utero sanotificata. — 8 p. Q. xxvi), art. i. 



A woman came to a house of our little congregration in 
this kingdom to let one of the fathers know that her hus- 
band had not been to confession for many years, and the 
poor creature could no longer tell by what means to bring 
tim to his duty ; for if she named confession to him he beat 
her The father told her to give him a billet of the Im- 
maculate Copoeption. In the evening the woman once 
more begged her husband to go to confession ; but as he 
as usual turned a deaf ear to her entreaties she gave him 
the billet. Behold 1 he had scarcely received it, when he 
said, 'Well, when will you take me to confession, for I 
am willing to go P The wife, on seeing this instantaneous 
change, began to weep for joy. In the morning he really 
came to our church, and when the father asked him how 
long it was since he had been to confession, he answered 
twenty-eight years. The father again asked him what had 
induced him to come that morning? * Father,' he replied, 
* I was obstinate, but last night my wife gave me a billet 
of our Blessed Lady, and in the same moment I felt my 
heart changed, so much so, that during the whole night 
every moment seemed a thousand years, so great was my 
desire to go to confession.' He then confessed his sins 
with great contrition, changed his life, and continued for 
a long time to go frequently to confession to the same 

In another place, in the diocese of Salerno, in which we 
were giving a mission, there was a man who bore a great 
hatred to another who had offended him. One of our 
fathers spoke to him that he might be reconciled, but 
he answered : * Father, did you ever see me at the ser- 
mons ? No, and for this very reason, I do not go. I know 
that I am damned, but nothing else will satisfy me, I must 
have revenge.' The fatbtr did all that he could to con- 
vert him, but seeing that he lost his time, he said, * Here, 
take this billet of our Blessed Lady.' The man at fbrst 
replied, 'But what is the use of this billet?' But no 

268 ON maby's immaculate conception. 

sooner had he taken it than, as if he had never refused to 
be reconciled, he said to the missionary, * Father, is any- 
thing else required besides reconciliation ? — I am willing.' 
The following morning was fixed for it. When, however, 
the time came, he had again changed, and would do nothing. 
The Father offered hnn another billet, but he refused it ; 
but at length, with great reluctance, took it, when, behold ! 
he scarcely had possession of it than he immediately said, 
* Now, let us be quick, where is Mastrodatti ?' and he was 
instantly reconciled with him, and then went to confession. 


Ah, my Immaculate Lady ! I rejoice with thee on seeing 
thee enriched with so great purity. I thank, and resolve 
always to thank, our common Creator for having preserved 
thee from every stain of sin ; and I firmly believe this doc- 
trine, and am prepared, and swear even to lay down my 
life, should this be necessary, in defence of this thy so 
great and singular privilege of being conceived immaculate. 
I would that the whole world knew thee and acknowledged 
thee as being that beautiful * Dawn ' which was always 
illumined with Divine light ; for that chosen *Ark ' of sal- 
vation, free from the common shipwreck of sin ; for that 
' perfect and immaculate Dove ' which thy Divine Spouse 
declared thee to be ; for that ' enclosed Gbrden ' which 
was the delight of God ; for that * sealed Fountain ' whose 
waters were never troubled by an enemy ; and, finally, for 
that * white Lily,' which thou art, and who though bom 
in the midst of the thorns of the children of Adam, all of 
whom are conceived in sin, and the enemies of God, wast 
alone conceived pure and spotless, and in all things the 
beloved of thy Creator. 

Permit me then to praise thee also as thy Gt)d Himself 
has praised thee : "Thou art all fair, and there is not a spot 
in thee." O most pure Dove, all fair, all beautiful, always 
the friend of God. " O how beautiful art thou my beloved I 
how beautiful art thou 1" Ah ! most sweet, most amiable. 


immaculate Mary, ikon who art so beautiful in the eyes of 
thy Loxd, — ah ! disdain not to cast thy compassionate eyes 
on the wounds of my soul, loathsome as they are. Bebol4 
me, pity me, heal me. O beautiful loaddtone oi hearts, 
draw also my miserable heart to thyself. O thou, who from 
the first moment of thy life didst appear pure and beautiful 
befcH^God, pity me who, not only was bom in sin, but have 
again since Daptism stained my soul with crimes. What 
grace will God ever r^use thee who chose thee for his 
I)attght^, His Mother and Spouse, and therefore preserved 
thee from every stain, and in His love preferred thee to aU 
other creatures P I will say in the words of Saint Philip 
Neri: ' Immaculate Virgin, thou hast to save me.' Grant 
that I may always remember thee ; and thou, do thou never 
forget me. The happy day, when I dtall go to behold thy 
beauty in paradise, se^ns a thousand years off. So muc^ 
do I long to praise and love thee more than I can now do, 
my Momer, my Queen, my beloved, most beautiful, most 
sweet, most pure, Immaculate Mary. Amen. 



Maiy was bom a 8aini, and a greait Saint ; for tke grace 
^h ioMch God enriched hir from the beginning was 
greai, and the fidelitg with which she immediate^ cor- 
responded with it was great, 

flVI^EN usually celebrate the birth of their children with 
^'■K great feasts andrejoicings; but they shouldrather pity 
them, ^d show signs of mourning and grief on reflecting 
that they are bom, not only deprived of grace and reason, 
but worse than this — ^they are infected with sin and chil- 
dren of wrath, and therefojre condemned to misery and 
death. It is indeed, right however, to celebrate with fes- 

23 § 


tivity and universal joy, the birtk of oar infiuit Maiy ; for 
she first saw the light of this world a baby, it is true, in 
point of age, but great in merit and yirtiie. Maiy was 
bom a Saint, and a great Saint. Bat to form an idea of 
the greatness of her sanctity, even at this early period, we 
must consider first, the greatness of the first grace with 
which God enriched her ; and secondly, the greatness of 
her fidelity in immediatdy corresponding with it. 

First Fomt, — ^And beginning by the first point, it is 
certain that Mary's soul was the most beautiful that God 
had ever created ; nay more, after the work of the Incar* 
nation of the Eternal Word, this was the greatest and 
most worthy of Himself, that an Omnipotent God ever 
did in the world. Saint Peter Damian calls it ' a work 
only surpassed by Grod.' ^ Hence it follows, that Divine 
grace did not come into Marv by drops as in other Saints, 
but " like rain on the fleece,"^ as it was foretold by David. 
The soul of Mary was like fleece, and imbibed the wh(^ 
shower of grace, without losing a drop. Saint Basil of 
Seleucia says, ' that the holy Yirgin was fiiU of grace, be- 
cause she was elected, and pre-elected by God, and the Holy 
Spirit was about to take full possession of her.'^ Hence 
she said, by the lips of Ecdesiasticus, " My abode is in 
the fiill assembly of saints ;"^ that is, as Saint Bonaven- 
ture explains it, ' I hold in plenitude all that other Saints 
have held in part.' ** And Saint Vincent Ferrer, speaking 
particularly of the sanctity of Mary before her birth, says 
'that the Blessed Yirgin was sanctified' (surpassed in 
sanctity) 'in her mother's womb above all Saints and 
angels.' • 

The grace that the Blessed Virgin received exceeded, 

1 Videbis ^uidquid humus est, miniu Virgine, aolnmqne ajjifLocm opaa istnd 
snpergredi. — Strm. i de Nat. B. M. V. 

* Ijescendet sicat pluvia in velliii. — Pi. facxi, 6. 

* Gratia plena, qnia a Deo electam et pneeleetam, totam earn raptnnu erat 
Spiritna Sanctas et ooBleatibna insigoitimu omamentis. — Jk Jimmnt. B. M. V. 

^ In plenitudine sanctonmi detentio mea. — Beel. xxir, 16. 

* Touun teneo in plenitadine, quod aHi Sancti tenent in parte.— iSItrM. iii i9 

* Super alios omnes est sanctificatio Virginia Harioe.~5(0rm. m Fnt, Concep, 

Bt Mt rt 


not onty that of each psyrticular Saint, bat of all the angels 
and saints put togeth^, as the most learned Father FranciB 
Fepe, of the Society of Jesus, proyes in his beaatifid work 
on the greatness of Jesus and Maiy.^ And he asserts that 
this opinion, so prions for our Queen, is now generally 
admitted, and considered as beyond doubt by modem tiieo- 
logians (such as Garthagena, Suarez, Spinelli, Beciq)ito, 
and Grucxia, who have professedly exammed the question, 
and this was never done by the more ancient theok^ians). 
And besides this he relat^, that the Divine Mother sent 
Father Martin Gnttierez to thank Father Suarez, on her 
part, for having so courageously defended this most pro- 
bable opinion, and which, according to Father Segneri, in 
his 'Client of Mary,' was afterwards believed and defended 
by the University of Salamanca. 

But if this opinion is general and certain, the other is 
also very probable ; namely, that Mary received this grace 
exceeding that of all men and angels together, in the first 
instant of her immaculate conception. Father Suaies 
strongly maintains this opinion, as do also Failier Spinelli, 
Father Becupito,^ and Father la Colombiere.^ But be- 
sides the authority of theologians, there are two great and 
eonvindng arguments, which sufficiently prove the cor- 
rectness of the above opinion. The fiist is, that Mary 
was chosen by Gk)d to be the Mother of the Divine Word. 
Hence, Denis the Carthusian says, ' that as she was chosen 
to an order superior to that of all other creatures, (for in 
a certain sense the dignity of Mother of Gk)d, as Father 
Suarez asserts, belongs to the order of hyposta^ imion) ; 
it is reasonable to suppose, that from the veiy beginning 
of her life, gifts of a superior order were coi^erred upon 
her, and such gifts, that they must have incomparably 
surpassed those granted to all other creatures. And in- 
deed, it cannot be doubted, that when the Person of the 
Eternal Word was, in the Divine decrees, predestined to 
make Himself man, a Mother was also destined for Him, 
from whom He was to take His human nature ; and this 

1 Ibm. iii, lect. 136. t • F.Fepe,loc.cU.i * Serm.JSX.f 


Mother was our infant Mary. Xow Saint Thomas teaches 
that 'God gives every one grace proportioned to the 
digmtj for which He destines him.'^ And Saint Paul 
teaches us the same thing when he says, " Who also faatk 
made us fit ministers of the New Testament ;" ' that is, 
the i^iostles received gifts from God, piop»tioned to ike 
greatness of the office with whidi they were chained.. 
Saint Bemardine of Sienna adds, ' that it is aa axiom in 
the<^ogy, that when a person is chosen by Grod for aaj 
state, he receives not only the dispositions necessary for 
it, but even the gifts which he needs to sustain that state 
with decorum.'' Bnt as Mazy was chosen to be the 
Mother of God, it was quite becoming that God should 
adorn her, in the first moment of her existence, with an 
immense grace, and one of a superior order to that of all 
other men and angels, since it had to ccunq^pood with the 
immense, and most high dignity, to which God exalted 
her. And all theologians come to this contusion with 
Saint Thomas, who says, ' The Blessed Virgin was dioaen 
to be the Mother of Grod ; and therefore, it is not U^ be 
doubted bat that God fitted her for it by His grace;' ^ &9 
much so that Mary, before beeomii^ MJother of God, was 
adorned with a sanctity so perfect that it render^ her 
fit for this great dignity. The holy Doetor says, 'that 
in the Blessed Virgin there was a preparatory p£a:£Botioin, 
which rendered her fit to be the Mother of Christ, and 
this was the perfection of sanctification.' ^ 

And before making this last remaik the Saint had 
said,^ * that Mary was called fcdL of grace, not on the part 

1 Uxuciui|He, a Deo datur gxaija, secundum hoc a4 quod eligitur.— 9p.Q.xxni 
aii. 6, ad. 1. 

' Old et idoneos nos fedt aunifltros Navi Testamenti.— S Cor. iii, 6. 

9 Beguja finna est in s^cra Tlieologi^., quod QuaAdocimque Deus, per eratiain 
aliqiiem eligit ad aliqtiem statum, omnia dona iJDi dispeusal, atque 4ar|it&, qtue 
iJUstatttinecessaiia suid;, et iUnm oopiose deeoiant. — In^urjfifi. B. M. V. Strm, i 

* Beata Virgo fuit electa divinitus, ut esset Mater Dei : et ideo non est dubi- 
tandtun qiiin Deus per suam gratiam, earn ad hoc idoneam redelidit.— P. S, 
Q. xxvii, art. 4, concl, 

5 In Beata Virgine fuit . . . perfectio . . . quasi diapotttiva, per quam teddebatnr 
idonea ad hoc, quod eaaet MflLer Christi; et xubc fmt peifecBO Baac<aftDiftiQOtt&-- >■ 
P. 3, Q. xxvii, art. 5, ad 2. 

« P. 8,Q.vii, art. 10, ad 1. 


of grace itself, for she had it not in the highest possible 
degree since, even the habitual grace of Jesus Christ (ac- 
cording to the same holy Doctor) was not such, that the 
absolute power of God could not have made it greater, 
although it was a grace sufficient for the end for which 
His humanity was ordained by the Diviiie Wisdom, that 
is, for its union with the Person of the Eternal Word ; 
'Although the Divine power could make something, greater 
and better, than the habitual grace of Christ, it could not 
fit it for anything greater, than the Personal union with 
the only begotten Son of the Father, and with which union 
that measure of grace sufficiently corresponded, accord- 
ing to the limit placed by Divine Wisdom.' ^ For, the 
same angelic Doctor teaches, that the Divine power is so 
great, that however much it gives, it can always give more; 
and although the natural capacity of creatures is in itself 
limited as to receiving, so that it can be entirely filled, 
nevertheless its power to obey the Divine will is ilJimited, 
and God can always fill it more, by increasing its capacity 
to receive. 'As far as its natural capacity goes it can be 
filled, but it cannot be fiUed as far as its power of obey- 
ing goes.' * But now to return to our proposition Saint 
Thomas says, ' that the Blessed Virgin was not filled with 
grace, as to grace itself; nevertheless she is called full of 
grace as to herself, for she had an immense grace, one 
which was sufficient, and corresponded with her immense 
dignity, so much so that it fitted her to be the Mother of 
God : * The Blessed Virgin is full of grace, not with the 
fulness of grace itself, for she had not grace in the highest 
degree of excellence in which it can be had, nor had she 
it as to all its effects ; but she was said to be full of grace 

^ Vntns Divina, lioei possit faeere aliqnid nugiu et melius qnam sit Iiabitnalis 
fsratia Cfaristi : non tsunen posset faeere, quod ordinaretur ad aliquid nuuus, quam 
sit nnio personalis ad TUinin nnigenitum a Fatre ; cui unioni sufficienter corre- 
spondet talis mensiira gratise, secnndum definitionem Divinse Sapientise. — P. 3, 
Q. vii, art. 12, ad. 2. 

* Est duplex potentia creatnree ad recipiendniii. Una natnralis, qiue potest tota 
irapkri, gma hsc mm se extendit nisi ad perfectiones naturales. Alia est potentia 
obedientue^ seciindnm anod potest reciperc aliqnid a Deo ; et taUs capacitas non 
potest impkri, quia quiaquid^Dena de creaiura rnciat, adbuc remanet m potentia 
redpieadi a Jko.—Jk Vcrit. Q. xxix, {de Grat. C.) art. 8, ad. 3. 


as to herself, because she had sufficient grace for that state 
to which she was chosen by God, that is, to be the Mother 
of His only begotten Son.' ^ Hence Benedict Fernandez 
says, * that the measure whereby we may know the great- 
ness of the grace communicated to Mary is, her dignity of 
Mother of God.' 3 

It was not without reason then that David said, that the 
foundations of this city of God, that is Mary, are planted 
above the summits of the mountains : " The foundations 
thereof are in the holy mountains."^ Whereby we are to 
understand that Mary, in the very beginning of her life, 
was to be more perfect, than the united perfections of the 
entire lives of the Saints could have made her. And the 
Prophet continues ; " The Lord loveth the gates of Sion 
above all the tabernacles of Jacob."^ And the same King 
David tells us why God thus loved her ; it was because 
He was to become man in her virginal womb : "A man 
is bom in her."^ Hence it was becoming that God should 
give this Blessed Virgin, in the very moment that He 
created her, a grace corresponding with the dignity of 
Mother of God. 

Isaias signified the same thing, when he said that, in a 
time to come, a mountain of the house of the Lord (which 
was the Blessed Virgin) was to be prepared on the top of 
all other mountains ; and that in consequence, all nations 
would run to this mountain, to receive the Divine mercies. 
" And in the last days the mountain of the house of the 
Lord shall be prepared on the top of mountains, and it 
shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow 
unto it."« Saint Gregory, explaining this passage, says, 

^ Beata Virgo dicta est plena gratia, non ex parte ipsins gratise: quia non 
aabnit gratiam in gumma excellentia qua potest haben, nee ad omnes effectus 
gratloe ; sed didtur foisse plena gratia per comparationem ad ipsam : quia sdlioet 
nabebat gratiam sufficientem ad statum ilium, ad quern erat electa a Deo, ut asset 
sdlicet mater Unigeniti ejus. — 3 p. Q. vii, art. 10, ad. 1. 

* Secundum dignitatem Filii, Matris illius sancdtaa requirebatnr. — In Ge». 
cap. xx^ii, sect. 3, No. 10. 

> Fiindamenta ejus in montibus Sanctis. — Pi. Ixxxvi, 1. 

« Diiigit Dominus portas Sion super omnia tabemacula Jacob. — lb. 2. 

* Homo natus est m ea. — lb. 5. 

< £t erit in novissimis diebus pneparatas mons domus Domini in vertice mon* 
tium, et elevabitur super colles, et fluent ad eum omnes gentes.—/*. ii, 2. 


* It is a mountain on the top of mountains; for tlie perfec- 
tion of Mary is resplendent above that of all the Saints.'* 
And Saint John Damascen, that it is * a mountain in which 
God was well pleased to dwell. '^ Therefore Mary was 
called a Cypress, but a Cypress of Mount Sion : she was 
called a Cedar, but a Cedar of Libanus ; an Olive Tree, but 
a fair OHve Tree ; beautiful, but beautiftil as the sun ; for, 
as Saint Peter Damian says, * As the light of the sun so 
greatly surpasses that of the stars, that in it they are no 
longer visible ; it so overwhelms them, that they are as if 
they were not ;'* * so does the great Virgin Mother surpass 
in sanctity the whole court of heaven.** So much so that 
Saint Bernard elegantly remarks, that the sanctity of Mary 
was so sublime, that ' no other Mother than Mary became 
a God, and no other Son than Grod became Mary.'* 

The second argument by which it is proved that Mary 
was more holy in the first moment of her existence than 
all the Saints together, is founded on the great office of 
mediatress of men, with which she was charged from the 
beginning ; and which made it necessary that she should 
possess a greater treasure of grace from the beginning 
than all other men together. It is well known with what 
unanimity, theologians and holy fathers give Mary this 
title of Mediatress, on account of her having obtained sal- 
vation for all, by her powerful intercession and merit, so 
called of congruity, thereby procuring the great benefit of 
redemption for the lost world. By her merit of congruity 
I say, for Jesus Christ alone is oiu* Mediator, by way of 
justice, and by merit, * de condigno,* to use the school 
term, He having offered his merits to the Eternal Father, 
who accepted them for our salvation. Mary, on the 
other hand, is a mediatress of grace, by way of simple 
intercession, and merit of congruity, she having offered to 

^ Mons qnippe in vertice montiixin fuit, quia altitndo Maziae supra omnea 
Saactos remlsit. — Lib. i, in 1 Reg. cap. 1. 

* Mons in quo benepUtcitum est Deo habitare in eo — Horn, i, in Nat. B. M. V. 

* Sibi fideram, et Lunse rapit positionan, ut sint quasi non lint, et videii non 
possunt. — Senn. de Jssump. B. M. V. 

* Sic et Virgo inter animas Sanctorum, et Angelonim chores snpereminens, et 
evecta, meiita sinEokmnn, et omnium titnlos antecedit. — lb. 

^ Neque enim Filius alius Virgiiieui, nee Deum decuit partus alter.— iSimn. 
•T in Aawnp. B. M. V. 


God, as theologians say, with Saint Bonaventuie, her 
merits, for the salvation of all men; and God, as a favonr, 
accepted them with the merits of Jesus Christ. On this 
account Arnold of Chartres says, that ' she effected our 
salvation, in common with Christ.'^ And Bichard of 
Saint Victor says, that ' Mary desired, sou^t, and obtained 
the salvation of all ; nay, even she effected the salvation 
of all.'^ So that eveiy thing good, and every gift in the 
order of grace, which each bf the Saints received from 
God, Mary obtained for them. 

And the holv Church wishes us to understand this, 
when she honours the Divine Mother, by applying the 
following verses of Ecdesiasticus to her : " In me is all 
grace of the way and the truth."* " Of the way," because 
by Mary all graces are dispensed to wayfarers. " Of the 
truth," because the light of truth is imparted by her : 
" In me is all hope of Me and of virtue.*" " Of life," for 
by Mary we hope to obtain the life of grace in this world, 
and that of glory in heaven. *' And of virtue," for through 
her we acquire virtues, and especially the theological vir- 
tues, which are the principal virtues of the Saints. '* I 
am the Mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, 
and of holy hope."^ Maiy, by her intercession, obtains 
for her servants the gifts of Divine love, holy fear, heavenly 
light, and holy perseverance. From which Saint Bernard 
concludes, that it is a doctrine of the Church, that Mary 
is the universal mediatress of our salvation. He says : 
* Magnify the finder of grace, the mediatress of salvation, 
the restorer of ages. This I am taught by the Church pro- 
claiming it, and thus also she teaches me to proclaim the 
same thing to others.'^ 

^ Ad hone beatitadiniB cnmnhun Virgo lancta deyenerit, ut cum Cluriflto com- 
munem in salute mimdi effectum obtineat. — De Laud. B. M. V. 

* Omnium aalutem deaideravit, queesivit, et obtinuit : imo salus omniiun per 
ip«am facta est, unde et mnndi salus dicta eat.--/» Caiat. cap. xx\x 

s In me gratia omnis vise et veritatis. — EccUt. xxrr, 85. 

** In. me omnis apes vitse et virtutis. — n. 

& £go mater pwehrR dilectionis, et tinunis, et agnitiouis, et sanctK spei.— 
lb versic S4. 

A If agnifica gratia inventricem, mediatrioem aahitis, restauratrfeem sccnlonun 
. . . VLttc mihi ae ilia cautat ecclesia, et me eadem docuit decantare.— *1^/. clxxir, 
ud Can. Lttgd. 


Saiut Sophronius, Patriarcli of Jerusalem, asserts that 
the reasou for which the Arcliangel Gabriel called her 
full of grace, " Hail full of grace !" was because only 
limited grace was given to others, but it was given to 
Mary in all its plenitude : * Truly was she full, for grace 
is given to other Saints partially; but the whole plenitude 
of grace poured itself into Mary.'^ Saint Basil of Seleucia 
declares, that she received this plenitude, that she might 
thus be a worthy mediatress between men and God : ' Hail 
full of grace, mediatress between God and men, and by 
whom heaven and earth are brought together and united.'^ 
' Otherwise,' says Saint Lawrence Justinian, ' had not the 
Blessed Virgin been full of Divine grace, how could she 
have become the ladder to heaven, the advocate of the 
world, and the most true mediatress between men and 

The second argument has now become dear and evident. 
If Mary, as the already destined Mother of our common 
Bedeemer, received from the very beginning the office of 
mediatress of all men, and consequently of the Saints also, 
it was also requisite that from the veiy beginning, she 
should have a grace exceeding that of all the Saints for 
whom she was to intercede. I wiU explain myself more 
clearly. . If, by the means of Mary, all men were to render 
themselves dear to God, necessanly Maiy was more holy 
and more dear to Him than all men together. Otherwise, 
how could she have interceded for all others ? That an 
intercessor may obtain the favour of a prince for all his 
vassals, it is absolutely necessary that he should be 
more dear to his prince than all the other vassals. And 
therefore Saint Ansebn concludes, that Mary deserved to 

^ Ave, intuit, gratia plena: et bene plena, quia caetem per partes prsestatur: 
ManaeveroBimiilBetotainfuiUtplenitiiao gratise. — IrU. op.S.Mier.SenH.deJsnaiip. 

* Ave gratia plena, Dei ac bominimi mediatrix, quo . . . coelestibiia tenrena 
6oeant, ac nniantur. — Orat. in S. Dei Qen. 8cc. 

* Ouomodo non est Maria, juxta GabrieUs oraculum, plena gratia, quae eifecta 
est Mater Bet, pamdiii scala, ooeli jauua, interventrix mnndi, daemonnm ftaga, pec • 
catonim spes, naufrasantium portns, maris stella, oonfuginm perielitautium, 
iolameii kborontium, flBCtnantium robnr, Dei et bominum verissuna Mediatrix. 
'Serm. de Jwwnt B M. V, 



be made tlie worthj Tepaiier of the lost worid, beeaoae 
she was the most holy and the most pfore of all creatures. 
'The pnre sam;tity of her heart, smpassiiig the purity 
and sanctity of all other creatures, merited for h«r that 
she should be made the repaim* of the lost woild.'^ 

MaiY then was the meduitress of men, it maj be aidied, 
but how can she be called also the mediatress of angds ? 
Many theologians maintain that Jesus Christ merited the 
grace of perseyeninoe for the angels also ; so that as Jesus 
was their mediator ' de con^tigmo* so also Marr may be said 
to be the mediatress eyen of the angels, ' de comgrmo* she 
haying hastened the coming of the Bedeemer by her 
prayers. At least mating ' de eomgrmo* to beecmie the 
Mother of the Messiah, she merited for the angek that 
the thrones lost by the deyils should be filled up. Hien 
she at least merited this accidental gloiy for them; and 
therefore Eiehard of Saint Victor says, 'By her every 
creature is repaired; by her the ruin of the angels is 
remedied; and by her human nature is reconoled.'^ 
And before him Saint Anselm. said, 'All tlnngs are recalled 
and reinstated in their primitiye state by this Blessed 

So that our heavenly child, because she was appointed 
mediatress of the world, as also because she was destined 
to be the Mother of the Bedeemer, reoeived, at the very 
beginning of her existence, grace exceeding in gi«atne» tkU 
of all the Saints together. Hence, how del%htfnl a sight 
must the beautifol soul of this happy diild have be^i to 
heaven and earth, although stiU enclosed in her mother's 
womb ! She was the most amiable creature in the eyes 
of God, because she was already loaded with grace and 
merit, and could say, ' When I was a little one I pleased 

^ Pura enim sanciitas, et sanctissima puritas piissimi pectoris ejus, oiBBeQi 
gmBu ereatursB i»iihtateni, sive sanctitatem transcendeua, incompanibiU aabl^- 
tate hoc promeruit, ut reparatrix perditi orbis dignissiiQe ^eret.— Jk Exc^U, Vtrg. 
cap. ix. 

^ Utraque creatiira per banc reparatur : Angelonim ruina per banc restaurata 
est, et humana natura reconciliata. — Ex^. in Cant. cap. xxiii. 

3 Cunctii, per banc Beatissimaiu Yirgmeiu, in stati^m prUtinum rerocata simt 
et restituta. — De ExceU. Virg. cap. xi. , 


the Most High.'^ And she was at the same time, the 
creature, of all others that had ever appeared in the world 
up to that moment, who loved God the most ; so much 
so, that had Mary been bom immediately after her most 
pure conception, she would have come iato the world 
richer in merits, and more holy, than all the Saints united. 
Then let us only reflect how much greater her sanctity 
must have been at her nativity ; coming into the world 
after acquiring all the merits that she did acquire, during 
the whole of the nine months that she remained in the 
womb of her mother ? And now let us pass to the consi- 
deration of the second point, that is to say, the greatness 
of the fidelity with which Mary immediately corresponded 
with Divine grace. 

Second Foint. — It is not a private opinion only, says a 
learned author,^ but it is the opinion of all, that the holy 
child, when she received sanctifying grace in the womb of 
Saint Anne, received also the perfect use of her reason, 
and was also divinely enlightened, in a degree correspond- 
ing with the grace with which she was enriched. So that 
we may well believe, that from the first moment that her 
beautiful soul was united to her most pure body, she, by 
the light she had received from the Wisdom of God, knew 
well the eternal truths, the beauty of virtue, and above all, 
the infinite goodness of God, and how much He deserved 
to be loved by all, and particularly by herself, on account 
of the singular gifts with which He had adorned and dis- 
tinguished her above all creatures, by preserving her from 
the stain of original sin, by bestowing on her such immense 
grace, and destining her to be the Mother of the Eternal 
Word, and Queen of the Universe. 

Hence from that first moment Mary, grateful to God, 
began to do all that she could do, by immediately, and 
faithfully trafficking with that great capital of grace which 
had been bestowed upon her ; and applying herself entirely 
to please and love the Divine goodness, from that moment 

1 Cum Msem parvulaplacai Altissimo. — In Fett. B. M. Sesj). ad ii Led. 
> F. La Colombia, Smrm. xxxi. t , 


she loved Him with all her strength, and continued thus 
to love Him always, during the whole of the nine months 
preceding her birth, during which she nerer ceased for a 
moment to unite herself more and more closely with Grod, 
by fervent acts of love. She was already free from original 
sin, and hence was exempt from every earthly affection, from 
every irregolar movement, from every distraction, from 
every opposition on the ipwrt of the senses, which could in 
any way have hindered her from always advancing more 
and more in Divine love : her senses also concurred 
with her blessed spirit, in tending towards Grod. Hence 
her beautifrd soid, free from every impediment, never 
lingered, but always flew towards God, always loved 
Him, and always increased in love towards him. It 
was for this reason that she calLed herself a plane-tree, 
planted by flowing waters : "As a plane-tree by the 
waters . . . was I exalted."^ For she was that noble 
plant of God, which always grew by the streams of Divine 
grace- And therefore she also calls herself a vine : "As 
a vine I have brought forth a pleasant odour."^ ^ot 
only because she was so humble in the eyes of the world, 
but because she was Hke the vine, which, according to the 
common proverb, * never ceases to grow.' Other trees, 
the orange-tree, the mulberry, the pear-tree, have a deter- 
mined height, which they attain, but the vine always grows, 
and grows to the height of the tree to which it is attached. 
And thus did the most Blessed Virgin always grow in 
perfection. * Hail then, O vine, always growing !'* says 
Saint Gregoiy Thaimiaturgus ; for she was always united 
to God, on whom alone she depended. Hence it was of 
her that the Holy Ghost spoke, saying, " Who is this that 
cometh up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning 
upon her beloved?"* which Saint Ambrose thus para- 
phrases : * She it is that cometh up, clinging to the Eternal 

1 Quasi platanus exaltata sum jiucta aquam in plateis. — Exclea. xxiv, 19. 

* Ego quasi vitis fructificavi suavitatem odoris — lb. v. 23. 

* Ave gratia plena, vitia semper vigens. — InJnnnnt. B. M. V. Serm. i. 

* Quse est ista, quse ascendit do deserto, dcliciia aflluens, imiixa super dilectum 
suum. — Cant, viii, 5. 


Wiord, as a vine to a vine*stock/^ Wko i» this accom- 
paakd by Uie I>ivine Word, that garows as a vine planted 
Against a great tree P 

Many learned theol(^ians say, that a soul which pos- 
sesses a habit of virtue, as long as she oorresponds isith- 
folly wsth \kc actual gvaoe which she receives from God, 
always produces an act equal in intensity to tha habit she 
possesses ; so muck so tJbat, she acquires each time, a new 
and double merit, equal to the sum of all the merits pise- 
nously acquired. This kind of augmentation was, it is 
aaid, granted to the angels in the tame of their probation ; 
and if it was gxanted to the aagels, who can ever deny 
that it was panted to the Divine Mother when living in 
this world, and e^edally during the time of which I 
speak, that she was in the womb of ber mother, in which 
«he was certainly more faithful than the angels in cor- 
respooDiding with Divine grace? Mary then, during the 
w^ole of that time, in each motment, doubled that sublime 
grace, which she possessed ii'om the first instant ; for, 
corresponding with her whole strength, and in the most 
perfect manner in her every act^ she subsequently doubled 
her merits in every instant. So that supposing she had 
« thousand degaaees of grace in the iirst instant, in the 
second she had two thousand, in the third four thousand, 
in the fourth eight thousand, in the fifth sixteen thousand, 
in ike sixth thirty-two thousand. And we axe as yet only 
at tibe instant ; but multiplied thus for an entire day 
multiplied foor nine months, consider what treasures of 
grace, merit, and sanctity, Mary had ali-eady acquired at 
die moBient of her birth. 

Let us then rejoice with our beloved infant, who was 
i)om so holy, so dear to God, and so ftUl of grace. And 
hst us rejoice, not only on her account, but also on our 
own ; for she came into the world fcdl of grace, not only 
for her own glory, but also for om* good. Saint Thomas 
remarks, in his eighth treatise, that the most Blessed 
Virgin was full of grace in three ways : First, she was 

1 Hsec est qiue ascendit ita tit exheereat Dei Verbo sicut vitia propago. i 

24 § 


fitted with grace as to her soul, so that fnm the beguming 
her beantif til soul bekmged all to God. Seooiidlj,8hewas 
filled with grace as to her body, so that she merited 
to dothe the Eternal Word with her most pore flesh. 
Thirdly, she was filled with grace for the beniefit of all, 
so that all men might partake ciii: * She was also foil of 
grace as to its orerflowing for the benefit of all men.' ^ 
The angelical Doctor adds, that some saints have so much 
grace, that it is not only saffident for tiiemaebres, but also 
for the salvation of many, though not for all men ; onitj 
to Jesus Christ and to Maiy, was sndi a grace given as 
sufficed to save all: 'should any one have as much as 
woold suffice for the salvation of all, this would be the 
greatest ; and this was in Christ, and in the Blessed 
Virgin.' ^ Thus far Saint Thomas. So that what Saint 
John says of Jesus, "And of His fulness we all have 
received ;" ' the Saints say of Maiy. Saint Thomas of 
Villanova caUs her * fuU of grace, of whose pl^tude all 
receive,' * so much so that Saint Anselm says, ' that there 
is no one who does not partake of the grace of Maiy.' ^ 
And who is there in the world to whom Mary is not 
benign, and does not dispense some mercy P ' Who was 
ever found to whom the Blessed Virgin was not pro- 
pitious ? Who is there whom her mercy does not reach ?'* 
From Jesus, however it is, (we must understand) that we 
receive grace as the author of grace, from Maiy as a 
mediatress ; from Jesus as a Saviour, from Maiy as an 
advocate; from Jesus as a source, from Mary as a 
Hence, Saint Bernard says, that God established Maiy 

^ Didtur . . . gTBtia i|>lena . . . qiiantaiii ad leftukmem in onines bomiiies. — 
Exp. sup. Salut. Ana. Opuse. viii. 

* . , . Sed qoando naberet tantom de gratia, qnod anfliceret ad aalntem omniimi 
hominiiiii de mmido, hoc etiet nmrimm^^ et hoc est in Chriato, et in Bcata 
Viigiae. — lb. 

* £t de plemtadine c^ noa omnea aeoepmna.— </mi». i, 16. 

* ** Gratia plena," de ciyiu plenitodine aedpiunt nnireni. — In Fat. Annunc. 
B. M. V. cone. i. 

* Ita at nnlhis ait, qoi de plenitodine gratiBB Virginia non ait particepa. t 

* <^ia nnqnam reperitatnr. coi Virgo propitia non ait P Qms, ad qnem qjna 
miaencordia non ae extendat r t 


as the channel of the mercies that He wished to dispense 
to men ; therefore He filled her with grace, that each one's 
part might be communicated to him from her fulness : 
' A full aqaeduct, that others may receive of her fulness, 
but not fulness itself.' ^ Therefore the Saint exhorts all to 
consider, with how much love God wills that we should 
honour this Great Virgin, since he has deposited the 
whole treasure of His graces in her : so that whatever we 
possess of hope, grace, and salvation, we may thank our 
most loving Queen for all, since all comes to us from her 
hands, and by her powerful intercession. He thus beauti- 
fully expresses himself: 'Behold with what tender feelings 
of devotion He wills that we should honour her! He who 
has placed the plenitude of all good in Mary ; that thus, 
if we have any hope, or anything salutary in us, we may 
know that it was from her that it overflowed.' ^ Miserable 
is that soul which closes this channel of grace against 
itself, by neglecting to recommend itself to Mary 1 When 
Holofemes wished to gain possession of the dty of Be- 
thulia, he took care to destroy the aqueducts : " He com- 
manded their aqueduct to be cut of."^ And this the 
devil does, when he wishes to become master of a soul ; 
he causes her to give up devotion to the most Blessed 
Virgin Mary ; and when once this channel is closed, she 
easUy loses supernatural light, the fear of God, and finally 
eternal salvation. Bead the following example, in which 
may be seen how great is the compassion of the heart of 
Mary, and the destruction that he brings on himself, who 
closes this channel against himself, by giving up devotion 
to the Queen of heaven. 

1 Flemu eqiiidem aaiiflediictna» vt acdpiant cseteri de plenitacline, sed non 
plenitiidinem ipsam. — Serm. ie Jguad. 

' Attins erf^ intnemini qaanto derotioiiis affectu a nobis earn Tohierit honorari, 
qui totiiu boni plenitnilinem pCMnit in Maria : ut proinde si quid spei in nobis 
est, si quid gratiae, si quid salutis, ab ea norerimoa redundare, qua ascendit 
ddidis aflluens. — lb. 

' Incidi pnceepit aquBednctom iSllonxm.— Judith, yii, 6. 

iH or tun BIBTH OF MART. 


TnUmim, D^msim, and othere, f^9te tkat ia Magdie^ 

bwrg» a eity of SaKO^, there was a »aix «iiJi«d Udo, wlio 

isom kis yoiLth wa/$ so d^titut^ of taJiBut, tkat h^ was the 

laughing-fitock tai, all kis 'fseoapaflaoiis. One day, mo^ 

aMioted Hobs, uaual at kis own iacapa^iy, ke WMi to 

fecaomiend himsdlf to the most Blessed ^u^u, aod for 

tkis poxpose was kueelii^ before ker stai^ie. Maiy a^ 

peared to kim in a vision, aiid said« ' Udo, I wiSl oonaole 

tkee, and not only will I obtain thse tmm God« siujikft^t 

capacity to &ee tksG £rom tba scoffs of otkars, but moseoFjsc, 

&uck talemta aa to uender tkee an objept of wofider ; and 

besides tkis, I ^'omise tkee, tkat after ibe deaik of tka 

bi^opy tkou sludt be ckoeen to M bis plaoe. All ibjut 

Maay said was ¥eidiied. Udo made rapid prdgieea isL tb^ 

sciences, and obtained the biskopiic isf i^ot, ei^y. But 

Udo was to such a degree un^ateful to God, and Ui^ 

b^efaotaress, as to gi¥e up etrery deTOtiion« and became la 

scandal to all. One ni^, when in bed, 1^ heard a Toioe 

which said, ' Udo, cease thy wickedsass ; thou hast sinned 

enough.' ^ The fir«t ikam hs was enraged a(t these woi^dp, 

thinlang it was some <Ddaie who had conceded himself, afid 

thus addj?essed Mm for his correction. Ueaiing the same 

voice a second, and a third nighty be bc^an ibo few: that it 

was a voice j&cma iieav^. Yet with all this he contiiiued 

his wicked liie. Afkej: three B^onths which Ood gave Mm 

to repent, diaatisem^t <eafiQie, aikd it was this : a denrout 

canon named Frederic, was one night in the ohuxck of 

Saint Maurice, praying that God would apply a remedy 

to the scandal given by the Prelate, when an impetuous 

wind threw open the doors of liie dnirch, and two young 

men entered with lighted torches in their hands, stationing 

themsdves on either side of the high altar. Two others 

followed, and extended a carpet before the altar, and 

placed two golden chairs on it. After this another young 

man came dressed as a soldier, with a sword in his hand, 

^ Uio, cessa de Indo : lusisti satis. 


and standing in the midst of the church, cried out : * O 
ye Saints of heaven, whose sacred relics are in this church, 
come and witness the great act of justice about to be 
executed by the Sovereign Judge.' At this cry many 
Saints appeared, and also the twelve Apostles as assessors 
of this judgment ; and finally Jesus Christ entered, and 
seated Himself on one of the chairs that had been pre- 
pared. Maiy then appeared, accompanied by many holy 
virgins, and her Son seated her on the other chair. The 
Jud^ now commanded the criminal to be brought, and 
it was the miserable Udo. Saint Maurice spoke, and on 
the part of the scandalized people, asked that justice 
should be executed on the Prelate for his infamous life. 
All raised their voices, and exclaimed, ' Lord, he deserves 
death.' * Let him die immediately,' answered the Eternal 
Judge. But before the execution of the sentence (see 
how great is the compassion of Mary) the compassionate 
Mother, that she might not assist at that tremendous act of 
justice, left the church ; and then the heavenly minister, 
who entered with a sword amongst the first, approached 
Udo, and with one stroke cut off his head, and all dis- 
appeared. All remained in darkness. The canon trembling 
went to get a light from a lamp, which was burning under 
the church, and found the decapitated body of Udo, and 
the pavement all covered with blood. On the following 
morning, when the people had assembled in the church, 
the canon related the vision, and the whole history of the 
horrible tragedy he had witnessed. On the same day 
poor Udo appeared, in the flames of hell, to one of his 
chaplains, who knew nothing of what had taken place in 
the church. Udo's dead body was thrown into a marsh, 
and his blood remained on the pavement as a pei'petual 
memorial, and was always kept covered with a carpet. 
From that time forward, it became the custom to uncover 
it when a new bishop took possession of his see, that at 
the sight of such a chastisement, he might learn how to 
regulate his life, and not be ungrateful for the graces of 
our Lord, and those of His most Holy Mother. 



O holy and hearenly Infant, Thou, who art the destined 
Mother of my Eedeemer, and the great Mediatress of 
miserable sinners, pity me. Behold at thy feet another 
ungrateful sinner, who has recourse to thee, and asks thy 
compassion. It is true, that for my ingratitude to God 
and to thee, I deserve that God and thou should abandon 
me ; but I have heard, and believe it to be so (knowing 
the greatness of thy mercy), that thou dost not refuse to 
help any one who recommends himself to thee with confi- 
dence. O most exalted creature in the world, since this 
is the case, and since there is no one but God above thee, 
so that compared with thee the greatest Saints of heaven 
are little ; O Saint of Saints, O Mary, abyss of charity, 
and full of grace, succour a miserable creature, who by 
his own fault has lost the Divine favour. I Imow that 
thou art so dear to God that He denies thee nothing. I 
know also that thy pleasure is, to use thy greatness for the 
relief of miserable sinners. Ah, then ! show how great is 
the favour that thou enjoyest with God, by obtaining me 
a Divine light and flame so poVerful, that I may be 
changed from a sinner into a Saint ; and detaching myself 
from every earthly affection, Divine love may be enkindled 
in me. Do this O Lady, for thou canst do it. Do it for 
the love of God, who has made thee so great, so powerful, 
and so compassionate. This is my hope. Amen. 


OP THE Presentation op hary. 

The C^fMatg that Mary made of herself to €rod was prompi, 
wiihout ddaify and entire wiihout reserve, 

f^HEEE vmex was, and never will be, an offering on the 
^5^ part of a pure creature, greater or more perfect than 
that which Mary made to God, when, at the age of three 
years, she presented herself in the temple, to offer Him, not 
aromatical spices, nor calves, nor gold, bat her entire self, 
consecrating herself as a perpetual victim in His honour. 
She well understood the voice of Grod, calling her to devote 
herself entirely to His love, when he said, " Arise, make 
haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come '."^ 
Therefore her Lord willed that from that time she should 
forget her coimtry, and all, to think only of loving and 
pleasing Him : " Hearken, O daughter, and see, and 
mcline thy ear ; and forget thy people, and thy father's 
house. "^ She with promptitude, and at once, obeyed the 
Divine call. Let us then consider how acceptable was 
this offering which Mary made of herself to God ; for it 
was prompt and entire. Hence the two points for our 
consideration are, first, Mary's offering was prompt and 
without delay; secondly, it was entire and without reserve. 
First Foint, — ^Mary's offering was prompt. From the 
first moment that this heavenly child was sanctified in her 
mother's womb, which was in the instant of her Immacu- 
late Conception, she received the perfect use of reason, 
that she might begin to merit. This is in accordance 
with the general opinion of theologians, and with that of 
Father Suarez in partioulai*, who says, that as the most 

1 Suree, mapen arnica mea . . . ct ▼eni. — (kmi. ii, 10. 
* Aq£ fiua, et Tide, et inclina aorem tuani: et obliriseere populum timin, tft- 
domum paths tui. — Ps. xliv, 11. 


perfect way in which God sanctifies a soul is by its own 
merit, as Saint Thomas also teaches, ^ it is thus we must 
believe that the Blessed Virgin was sanctified: *To be 
sanctified by one's own act is the morQ perfect way. There- 
fore it is to be believed that the Blessed Virgin was thus 
sanctified.'^ And if this privilege was granted to the 
angels, and to Adam, as the angelic doctor says,^ much 
more ought we to believe that it was granted to the Divine 
Mother, on whom, certainly, we must suppose that God, 
having condescended to make her His Mother, also con- 
ferred greater gifts than on all other creatures. 'From 
her,' says the same holy doctor, • He received His human 
nature, and therefore she must have obtained a greater 
plenitude of grace from Christ than all others.'* * For 
being a Mother,' Father Suarez says, * she has a sort of 
special right to all the gifts of her Son;'^ and as, on 
account of the hypostatic union, it was right that Jesus 
should receive the plenitude of all graces, so, on account 
of the Divine Maternity, it was becoming that Jesus 
should confer, as a natural debt, greater gi^aces on Mary 
than He granted to all other Saints and angels. 

Thus, from the beginning of her life, Mary knew God, 
and knew Him so that * no tongue' (as the angel declared 
to Saint Bridget) 'will ever express how clearly this Blessed 
Virgin understood His greatness, in that very first moment 
of her existence.** And thus enlightened, she instantly 
oiFered her entire self to her Lord, dedicating herself*, 
without reserve, to His love and glory. * Immediately,' 
the angel went on to say, ' Our Queen determined to sa- 
crifice her will to God, and to give Him all her love, 
for the whole of her life. No one can understand how 

^ 3 p. (^. xix, art. 8, ooncl. 

> Sanctificari per proprium actum est perfectior modus . . . Ergo credendum 
est lioc modo misse lanctificatam Virginem.'— 2V Incam. P. ii, Q. xxvii, art. 6, 
disp. 4, sect. 8. 

*^lF.Q.lxiii,art. 5. 

* Ex ea accepit humauam naturam. £t ideo pr» cseteris nu^orem debuit a 
Cbristo ffratise plenitudinem obtinere. — S p. Q. xxvi, art. 5. 

^ UuM fit ut singnlare jus habeat ad bona Pel f ilii sui.— J3if Incarmt. P. ii, 
QaxxTii, art. 1, disp. 1, aect. 8. 

« Sirvi. Ang. cap. ziv. 


entire was the subjection in which she then placed her 
will, and how fully she was determined to do all accord- 
ing to His pleasure.'* 

But the Immaculate Child, afterwards understanding 
that her holy parents, Joachim and Anne, had promised 
God, even by vow, as many authors relate, that if He 
granted them issue, they would consecrate it to His service 
in the temple ; as it was, moreover, an ancient custom 
amongst the Jews to take their daughters to the temple, 
and there to leave them for their education (for which 
purpose there were cells contiguous), as it is recorded hy 
BaroniuSjNicephorus, Cedrenus,and Suarez, with Josephus, 
the Jewish historian, and also on the authority of Saint 
John Damascen, Saint Greorge of Nicomedia, Saint Anselm,^ 
and Saint Ambrose,^ and, as we may easily gather from 
the Second Book of Machabees, where, speaking of Helio- 
dorus, who besieged the temple, that he might gain pos- 
session of the treasure there deposited, says, " Because the 
place was like to come into contempt . . . and the virgins 
also that were shut up came forth, some to Onias."* Mary 
hearing this, I say, having scarcely attained the age of three 
years, as Saint Germanus and Saint Epiphanius attest — 
the latter of whom says, * In her third year she was brought 
to the temple' — an age at which children are the most 
desirous, and stand in the greatest need of their parents' 
care, she desired to offer, and solemnly to consecrate her- 
self to God, by presenting herself in the temple. Hence 
of her own accord she requested her parents, with earnest- 
ness, to take her there, that they might thus accomplish 
their promise. And her holy mother, says Saint Gregory 
of Nyssa, * did not long delay leading her to the temple, 
and offering her to God.'*» 

Behold now Joachim and Anna, generously sacrificing 
to God the most precious treasure that they possessed in 

1 Loc. cit. s De Form, tt Mor. B.M. * Be Vm. hi), i. cap. S. 

* Pro eo vpxA in contemptom locos eiset rentnrus . . . Virgmes, qiue con- 
dime erant, procurrebant aa Oniam. — 3 liachab. iii, 18, 19. 

' Illam igitur, cum Jam grandhiscula esset, nee ubere maths ampUos indigeret 
dncens ad templum Deo redduUt.— Or. m if<U. J). N» J. C. 



the world, and tlie one whicli was dearest to their hearts, 
setting out from Xazareth, earning their well-beloved little 
daughter in turns, for she could not othenvise have under- 
taken so long a journey as that from Xazareth to Jerusalem, 
it being a distance of eighty miles, as several authors say. 
They were accompanied by few relatives, but choirs of angels, 
accordingto Saint George of Ni com edia,^ escorted and served 
the Immaculate little Virgin, v.ho was about to consecrate 
herself to the Divine Majesty. " How beautiful are thy 
steps, O prince's daughter I"^ Oh how beautiful (must 
the angels have sung), hovr acceptable to God is thy every 
step, taken on thy way to present and offer thyself to 
Him ! O noble daughter, most beloved of our common 
Lord ! ' God Himself, with the whole heavenly cotlrt,' 
says Bemardine de Busto, * made great rejoicings on 
that day, beholding His spouse coming to the temple.'^ 
* For He never saw a more holy creature, or one whom 
He so tenderly loved, come to offer herself to Him.'* ' Go 
then,' (says Saint Germanus, archbishop of Constantinople), 
*go, O Queen of the world, O Mother of God, go joyfully 
to the house of God, there to await the coming of the 
Divine Spirit, who wiU make thee the Mother of the Eter- 
nal Word.' ' Enter with exultation the courts of the Lord, 
in expectation of the coming of the Holy Ghost, and the 
Conception of the only begotten Son of God.'^ 

When the holy company had reached the temple the 
fair cliild turned to her parents, and on her knees kissed 
their hands, and asked their blessing ; and then, without 
again turning back, she ascended the fifteen steps of the 
temple (according to Arius Montano, quoting Josephus^ 
and, as we are told by Saint Germanus, presented herself 

1 De ohlat. Deip. 

3 Quam pulchri glint gressns tui in calceamentis, fiUa principifl. — Cani. vii, 1. 

' Magnam quoque festivitatem fecit Deus cum angelis, in deductione sue 
8pona« ad templum. — Marial. P. iv, Serm. i. 

* Quia nuIluB unquam Beo gratior usque ad illud tempus, templum ascendit. 
— lb. 

5 Abi igitur Bomina Bei Geiiitrix, abi ct perambula Bomini aulas, exultans et 
gaudens, educatione virena, deque die in diem expectans Sancti Spiritus in tp 
fcdventum, virtutis Altissimi obumbrationem, et Rlii tui conceptioncm. — Tn 
JPrtumtt J>9i Mat. Orat, il 


to the priest, Saint Zachary. Having done this, she bade 
farewell to the world, and renouncing all the pleasures 
which it promises to its votaries, she offered and conse- 
crated herself to her Creator. 

At the time of the deluge a raven sent out of the ark 
by Noah, remained to feetl on the dead bodies ; but the 
dove, without resting her foot, quickly "rctunied to him 
into the ark."^ Many who are sent by God into this 
world unfortunately remain to feed on earthly goods. It 
was not thus that Mary, our heavenly Dove, acted ; she 
knew full well that God should be our only good, our 
only hope, our only love ; she knew that the world is full 
of dangers, and that he who leaves it the soonest is freest 
from its snares : hence she sought to do this in her ten- 
derest years, and as soon as possible shut herself up in 
the sacred retirement of the temple, where she coidd 
better hear His voice, and honour and love Him more. 
Thus did the Blessed Virgin in her vciy first actions 
render herself entirely dear and agreeable to her Lord, 
as the holy Church says in her name: * Rejoice with me, all 
ye who love God ; for when I was a little one I pleased 
the Most High.' ^ For this reason she was hkened to the 
moon ; for as the moon completes her course w^th greater 
velocity than the other planets, so did Mary attain per- 
fection sooner than all the Saints, by giving herself to 
God promptly and without delay, and making herself all 
His without reserve. Let us now pass to the second 
point, on which we shall have much to say. 

Second Point. — The enlightened child well knew that 
God does not accept a divided heart, but wills that, as He 
has commanded, it should be consecrated to His love 
without the least reserve : " Thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God with thy whole heart." Hence from the first moment 
of her life she began to love God with all her strength, 
and gave herself entirely to Him. But still her most holy 
soul awaited with the most ardent desire, the moment 

1 QuBB cnm non invenisset nbi rcquicscerctpes fyus, reversa est ad cum in area. 
— Gen. viii, 9. 

^ Congratulamini siibi omnes qui diligitis Bominum, giiia cum essciu parviila, 
placni Altissimo, — In 2 Resp. 1 ^oct. infest. S. M. ad JMv. 


when she mig^t consecrate herself to Him in a more 
solemn and public way. Let us then consider with what 
fervour this loving and tender Virgin, on finding herself 
actually enclosed in the holy place, first prostrate, kissed 
that groimd as the house of her Lord; and then adored 
His Infinite Majesty, thanked Him for the favour she had 
received, in being thus brought to dwell for a time in His 
house, and then offered her entire self to her God, wholly 
without reserving anything, — all her powers and all her 
senses, her whole mind, and her whole heart, her whole 
soul, and ha whole body ; for then it was, according to 
many authors, that to please God ' she vowed Him her 
Virginity,' a vow which, according to the Abbot Eupert, 
'Mary was the first to make.' ^ And the offering she then 
made of her entire self was without any reserve as to 
time, as Bemardine de Busto declares: 'Mary offered 
and dedicated herself to the perpetual service of God ;' ^ 
for her intention was to dedicate herself to the service of 
His Divine Majesty in the temple for her whole life, should 
such be the good pleasure of God, and never to leave that 
sacred place. Oh, with what effusion of soul must she 
then have exclaimed, " My beloved to me, and I to Him 1"* 
Cardinal Hugo paraphrases these words, saying, ' I will 
live all His, and die all His.' * ' My Lord and my God,' 
she said, * I am cx)me here to please Thee alone, and to 
give Thee aU the honour that is in my power ; here will 
I live all Thine, and die all Thine, should such be Thy 
pleasure ; accept the sacrifice which Thy poor servant offers 
Thee, and enable me to be faithful to Thee.' 

Here let us consider how holy was the life which ll^Iary 
led in the temple, where, as " the morning rising,"^ which 
rapidly bursts out into the full brightness of mid-day, she 
l)rogressed in perfection. Who can ever tell the ahvay- 
increasing brightness with which her resplendent virtues 

1 Votnm egreginm Deo prima Tovisti, Totum VirginitatiB. — lab. iii, in Cant. 
c. 4. 

• Maria . . . seipsam pcrpettiis Deo obseqtdis obtulit et HedicAni.-^ Matidl. 

P. IV, StTttl. 1. 

» Dilectns mens mihi, ct cjro illi. — Cant, ii, 16. 

* E^ro illi . . . tota vivam, ct tota moriar. — In Cant. cap. ii. 

^ Qua eat lata, qus progreditur quasi aurora consnrgens. — Cant, n, 9. 


shone forth from day to day : charity, modesty, homOity, 
silence, mortification, meekness? This fair oliye-tree, 
says Saint John Damascen, planted in the house of God, 
and nurtured by the Holy Ghost, became the dwelling-place 
of all virtues ; ' led to the temple, and thenceforward planted 
in the house of God, and cultiyated by the Spirit, she 
as a fruitful olive-tree became the abode of all virtues/ ^ 
The same Saint says elsewhere, * that the countenance of 
the Blessed Virgin was modest, her mind hnmble, her 
words proceeding £rom a composed interior were engag- 
ing.' ^ In another place he asserts that she turned her 
thoughts far from earthly things, embracing all virtues ; 
and thus exercising herself in perfection, she made such 
rapid progress in a short time, that she merited to become 
a temple worthy of God.' ^ 

Saint Anselm also speaks of the life of the Blessed 
Yi]^^ in the temple, and says, ' that Maiy was docile, 
spoke little, was always composed, did not laugh, and 
that her mind was never disturbed. She also persevered 
in prayer, in the study of the sacred Scriptures, ia fast- 
ings, and all virtuous works. '^ Saint Jerome enters more 
into detail. He says that Mary thus regulated her life : 
'In the morning until the third hour she remained in 
prayer ; from the third hour until the ninth she employed 
herself with work; and from the ninth hour she again 
prayed ^until the angel brought her her food, as he was 
wont to do. She was always the first in watchings, the 
most exact in the observance of the' Divine law, the most 
profoundly humble, and the most perfect in every virtue. 
No one ever saw her angry : her eveiy word carried such 
sweetness with it that it was a witness to all that God 
was with her.^ 

We read in Saint Bonaventnre's life of Christ, thai 
the Divine Mother herself revealed to Saint Elizabeth, 

1 ... Ad templnm adducitnr. Tom deinde in domo Dei i)lantata, et per 
Spiritam sagiuata, instar oUtk fructifem rirtntiuiLoinniiua domicilium instmitur. 
-De Fide Ortk. lib. iv, cap. 14. 

• Horn. 1, in Nat. B. M.V. » Zte Tide Orih. Kb. iv, cap. 14. 

* J)e Form, et Mor. B. M.V. * De Nat. S. Maria. 

25 § 


of Hungary, that 'when her father and mother left her in 
the temple she determined to have Grod alone for her Father, 
and often thought how she could please Him most.'^ More- 
over, as we learn from the Eevelations of Saint Bridget, 
* she determined to consecrate her virginity to Him, and 
to possess nothing in the world, and to give Him her entire 
wiU.'^ Besides this she told Saint Elizabeth, that of all 
the commandments to be observed, she especially kept 
this one before her eyes : " Thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God ;" ^ and that at midnight she went before the altar 
of the temple to beg that He would grant her the grace 
to observe them all, and also that she might live to see 
the birth of the Mother of the Redeemer, entreating Him 
at the same time to preserve her eyes to behold her, her 
tongue to praise her, her hands and feet to serve her, and 
her knees to adore her Divine Son in her womb. Saint 
Elizabeth on hearing this said, * But, Lady, wast thou not 
full of grace and virtue ?* Mary replied, * Know that I 
considered myself most vile and unworthy of Divine 
grace ; and therefore thus earnestly prayed for grace and 
virtue.' And finally that we might be convinced of the 
absolute necessity under which we all are of asking the 
graces that we require from God she added, * Dost thou 
think that I possessed grace and virtue without effort? 
Know that I obtained no grace from God without great 
effort, constant prayer, ardent desire, and many tears and 

But above all, we should consider the revelation made to 
Saint Bridget, of the virtues and practices of the Blessed 
Virgin in her childhood, in the following words : * From 
her childhood Mary was fuU of the Holy Ghost, and as 
she advanced in age, she advanced also in grace. Thence 
forward she determined to love God with her whole heart ; 

1 Cum pater meus et mater mea me dimisemnt in templo, statui in corde meo 
habere Bcum in patrem ; et devote ac frequenter cogitalmm, qtiid postern facers 
Deo cratum. — S. Bohob. Vita ChrUti, cap. iii. 

* Yovi etiam in corde meo, si esset ei acceptaLile observare yirginitatem, nihil 
unquam possidere in mnndo . . . ei omnem Tolnntatem raeam commiii— JB^r. 
lib. i, cap. 10. 

* Diliges Dominnm Detuu t}xam,—Deut. xi, 5. 


80 that she might never oflfend Him, either by her words 
or actions ; and therefore she despised all earthly goods. 
She gave all that she could to the poor. In her food she 
was so temperate, that she only took as much as was barely 
necessary to sustain her body. Afterwards, on discover- 
ing in the sacred Scriptures, that God was to be bom of 
a Virgin, that He might redeem the World, her soul was 
to such a degree inflamed with Divine love, that she could 
desire and think, of nothing but God ; and finding plea- 
sure in Him alone, she avoided all company, even that of 
her parents, lest their presence might deprive her of His 
remembrance. She desired, with the greatest ardour, to 
live until the time of the coming of the Messiah, that she 
might be the servant of that happy Virgin, who merited 
to be His Mother.' Thus far the revelations of Saint 

'Ah 1 yes, for the love of this exalted child, the Redeemer 
did, indeed, hasten His coming into the world ; for whilst 
she, in her humility, looked upon herself as unworthy to 
be the servant of the Divine Mother, she was herself chosen 
to be this Mother ; and, by the sweet odour of her virtues, 
and her powerful prayers, she drew the Divine Son into 
her virginal womb. For this reason Mary was called a 
turtle dove by her Divine Spouse : " The voice of the turtle 
is heard in our land." ^ Not only because as a turtle-dove 
she always loved solitude, living in this world as in a desert, 
but also because, like a tmi;le-dove, which always sighs for 
its companions, Mary always sighed in the temple, com- 
passionating the miseries of the lost world, and seeking 
from God the redemption of all. Oh ! with how much greater 
feeling and fervour than the Prophets did she repeat their 
prayers and sighs, that God would send the promised 
Redeemer 1 " Send forth, O Lord, the Lamb, the ruler of 
the earth."^ " Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, 
and let the clouds rain the Just."'* " O that thou wouldst 
rend the heavens, and wouldst come down !"^ 

1 Ub. i, ci4>. 10. ' Vox lurtmiB audita est in terra nostra. — Oint. H, 12. 

* Emitte agnum Domiue dominatorem teme. — Js. xvi, 1. 

^ Rorate coeli desnper, et nubes pluant Justnm. — Js. x\v, 8. 

* Utinam disruniperes cgbIos, et descenderes. — Is. Ixiv, 1. 


In a word, it was a subject of delight to God, to behold 
this tender Virgin always ascending towards the highest 
perfection, like a pillar of smoke, rich in the sweet odour 
of all virtues, as the Holy Ghost Himself clearly describes 
her, in the Sacred Canticles : " Who is she that goeth up 
by the desert, as a pillar of smoke, of aromatical spices, of 
myrrh, and frankincense, and of all the powders of the 
perfumer?"^ 'This child,' says Saint Sophronius, *was 
truly God's garden of delights ; for He there found every 
kind of flower, and all the sweet odours of virtues.' ^ 
Hence Saint John Chrysostom afi&rms,^ that God chose 
Mary for His Mother in this world, because He did not find 
on earth a Yirgia more holy and more perfect than she was, 
nor any dwelling more worthy than her most sacred womb. 
Saint Bernard also says, ' that there was not on earth a more 
worthy place than the virginal womb.'* This also agrees 
with the assertion of Saint Antoninus, that the Blessed 
Virgin, to be chosen for, and destrued to the dignity of 
Mother of God, was necessarily so great and consummate 
in perfection, as to surpass all other creatures : 'The last 
grace of perfection is that which prepared her for the Con- 
ception of the Son of God.'^ 

As then the holy child Mary presented and offered h^- 
self to God, in the temple, with promptitude, and without 
reserve, so let us also present ourselves this day to Maiy, 
without delay, and without reserve ; and let us entreat her 
to offer us to God, who will not reject us, when He sees 
us presented by the hand of that Blessed Creature, who 
was the living temple of the Holy Ghost, the delight of 
her Lord, and the chosen Mother of the Eternal Word. 
Let us abo have unbounded confidence in this high and 

1 Qase est ista, qiue a«cendit pex deseitum, sicut Tirgala fami, ex aromatibus 
myrrhse, et thuris, et tiiiiversi pulveris pigmentarii? — Oint iii, 6. 

'* Vere hortns deticiamm, m quo oonmta sunt nniTena flonun genera et 
odoramenta Tirtatnm. — Serm. de Msumja. int. op. S. Hieron. 

» Jp. Canis. lib. i, de B. V. c. 13. + 

** ^ec in teiris locna dignior uteri Tirginalia templo. — Jn Assump. B.M, 
Serm. i. 

* Uftima gratia perfectioiiiB est pneparatio ad Filiuin Dei concipiendnm ; qua 
pneparatio fait per profimdam Iramilitatem. — P. ir, tit. 16, c. 6, No. 2. 


gracious Lady, who rewards, indeed, with the greatest 
loYe the homage that she receives from her clients, as we 
may gather from the following exaiQple. 


We read, in the life of Sister Domenica del Paradiso, 
written by the Dominican Father Ignatius del Niente, 
that she was bom of poor parents, in the village of Para- 
diso, near Florence. Prom her very infancy she began to 
serve the Divine Mother. She fasted every day in her 
honour, and on Saturdays gave her food, of which she 
deprived herself, to the poor. Every Saturday she went 
into the garden, and into the neighbouring fields, and 
gathered all the flowers that she could find, and presented 
them before an image of the Blessed Virgin, with the 
Child in her arms, which she kept in the house. But let 
us now see with how many favours this most gracious 
Lady recompensed the homage of her servant. One day, 
when Domenica was ten years of age, standing at the win- 
dow, she saw in the street a lady of noble mien, accom- 
panied by a little child, and they both extended their 
hands, asking for ahns. She went to get some bread, 
when in a moment, without the door being opened, she 
saw themby her side, and perceived that the child's hands, 
and feet, and side, were wounded. She therefore asked 
the lady, who had wounded the child? The mother 
answered, 'it was love.' Domenica, inflamed with love 
at the sight of the beauty and modesty of the child, asked 
him if the wounds pained him ? His only answer was a 
smile. But, as they were standing near the statue of Jesus 
and Mary, the lady said to Domenica : * Tell me, my 
child, what is it that makes thee crown these images with 
flowers ?' She replied, * It is the love that I bear to Jesus 
and Mary.' *And how much dost thou love them? *I 
love them as much as I can.' And how much canst thou 
love them ? — * As much as they enable me.' * Continue, 
then,' added the Lady, ' continue to love them ; for they 
will amply repay thy love in heaven.' 


The little girl then perceiving that a heavenly odour 
came forth from those wounds, asked the mother with what 
ointment she anointed them, and if it could be bought. 
The Lady answered * It is bought with faith and good 
works.' Domenica then offered the bread. The Mother 
said, * Love is the food of my Son ; tell Him that thou 
lovest Jesus, and He will be satisfied. The child at the 
word love seemed filled with joy, and turning towards the 
little girl, asked her how much she loved Jesus. She 
answered that she loved Him so much, that night and day 
she always thought of Him, and sought for nothing else 
but to give Him as much pleasure as she possibly could. 
* It's well,' He replied; ' love Him, for love wilL teach thee 
what to do to please Him. The sweet odour which ex- 
haled from those wounds then increasing, Domenica cried 
out, * O God ! this odour makes me die of love.' If the 
odour of a child is so sweet, what must that of heaven be ! 
But behold the scene now changed ; the Mother appeared 
clothed as a Queen, and the child resplendent with beauty 
like the sun. He took the flowers and scattered them on 
the head of Domenica, who, recognising Jesus and Mary 
in those personages, was already prostrate adoring them. 
Thus the vision ended. Domenica afterwards took the 
habit of a Dominicaness, and died in the odour of sanctity, 
in the year 1553. 


O beloved Mother of Grod, most amiable child Maiy. 
Oh, that as thou didst present thyself in the temple ; and 
with promptitude, and without reserve, didst consecrate 
thyself to the glory and love of God, I could offer thee, 
this day, the first years of my life, to devote myself without 
reserve to thy service, my holy and most sweet Lady I 
But it is now too late to do this ; for, unfortunate 
creature that I am, I have lost so many years in the 
service of the world, and my own caprices, and have lived 
in almost entire forgetfalness of thee and of God: 
** Wo to that time in which I did not love thee ! '^ But 

1 Vae tempori illi, in quo non amavi te. 


it is better to begin late than not at all. Behold, O 
Mary, I this day present myself to thee, and I offer 
myself without reserve to thy service for the long or 
short time that I still have to live ia this world ; and 
in union with thee I renounce all -creatures, and devote 
myself entirely to the love of my Creator. I consecrate 
my mind to thee, O Queen, tliat it may always think of 
the love that thou desenest, my tongue to praise thee, my 
heart to love thee. Do thou accept, most holy Virgin, the 
ofering which this miserable shmer now makes thee : ac- 
cept it, I beseech thee, by the consolation that thy heart ex- 
perienced when thou gavest thyself to God in the temple. 
But since I enter thy service late, it is reasonable that I 
should redouble my acts of homage and love, thereby to 
compensate for lost time. Do thou help my weakness 
with thy powerful intercession, Mother of Mercy, by 
obtaining me perseverance from thy Jesus, and strength 
\o be always faithful to thee until death ; that thuB always 
serviug thee in life, I may praise thee in paradise for all 
eternity. Amen. 



At the Incarnation of the Eternal Wordy Mary could 7iot 
hate humbled herself more tJum she did humble herself. 
God, on tJie otlier Ivand, could not have exalted her inore 
than He did exalt Iter. 

" ^[f HOSOEVER shaU exalt himself, shall be humbled ; 
^■^ and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."* 
These are the words of our Lord, and cannot fail. There- 
fore, God having deternuned to become man that He might 
redeem lost man, and thus show the world His infinite 

1 Qui autem se exaltaverit, humiliabitur : et qui ae humiliaverit, exaltabitur 
—Matth. xxiij, 12. 


goodness ; and having to choose a Mother on earth. He 
sought amongst women for the one who was the most holy 
and the most humble. But amongst all, one there was 
whom He admired, and this one was the tender Yirgin 
Mary, who, the more exalted were her virtues, so much the 
more dove-like was her simplicity and humility, and the 
more lowly was she in her own estimation. " There are 
young maidens without number : one is my dove, my per- 
fect one."i Therefore God said, this one shall be mv 
chosen Mother. Let us now see how great was Mary's 
humility, and consequently how greatly God exalted her. 
Mary could not have humbled herself more than she did 
humble herself in the Incarnation of the Word : this will 
be the first point. That God could not have exalted Mary 
more than He did exalt her ; this will be the second. 

First Point, — Our Lord in the sacred Canticles, speak- 
ing precisely of the humility of the most humble Virgin, 
says; "While the king was at his repose, my spikenard sent 
forth the odour thereof."^ Saint Antoninus, explaining 
these words, says that ' spikenard, from its being a small 
and lowly herb, was a type of Mary, the sweet odour of 
whose humility, ascending to heaven so to say, awakened 
the Divine Word, reposing in the bosom of the Eternal 
Father, and drew him into Her virginal womb.'* So that 
our Lord, drawn as it were by the sweet odour of this 
humble Virgin, chose her for His Mother, when He was 
pleased to become man to redeem the world. But He, 
for the greater glory and merit of this Mother, would not 
become her Son without her previous consent. The Abbot 
William says, ' He would not take flesh from her unless 
she gave it.'** Hence, when this humble Virgin (for 
so it was revealed to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary) was 
in her poor little cottage, sighing and beseeching God 

^ Adolesceutnlaniia non est numenis. UDa est coliimba mea, perfieetameB.— 
Cant, vi, 8. 

* Duni esset rex in acimbitu sao, nardtu mea dedit odoiem stram. — CoMt i, 11, 
s Nardos est herba parva, sed mtdtum medidnalis, et 8i^;iiificat, beatan 

Vir^inem humilemj quse permaxime dedit odorem suse humilitatis. — F. iv^ tit. 15, 
c. 21, No. 2. 

* Noluit caniem sumere ex ipso, non dante ipsa.-*/;) Cant. iii. t 


more fervently tban ever, and with desires more than ever 
ardent, that he would send the Bedeemer. Behold, the 
Archangel Gabriel arrives, the bearer of the great message. 
He enters and salutes her, saying: '' Hail, full of grace ; the 
Lord is with thee ; blessed art thou amongst women !"^ 
Hail, O Virgin full of grace ; for thou wast always full of 
grace above all other saints. The Lord is with thee, be- 
cause thou art so himible. Thou art blessed amongst 
women, for all others fell under the curse of sin ; but thou, 
because thou art the Mother of the Blessed One, art, and 
idways wilt be blessed, and free from every stain. 

But what does the humble Mary reply to a salutation 
so full of praises? Nothing; she remains silent, but 
reflecting upon it, is troubled : " Who having heard was 
troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what 
manner of salutation this should be."^ Why was she 
troubled ? Did she fear an illusion, or was it her virginal 
modesty which caused her to be disturbed at the sight of 
a man, as some suppose, in the belief that the Angel ap- 
peared under a human form ? No, the text is dear: " She 
was troubled at his saying." ' Not at his appearance, but 
at what he said,'^ remarks Eusebius Emissenus. Her 
trouble then arose entirely from her humility, which was 
disturbed at the sound of praises, so far exceeding her own 
lowly estimate of herself. Hence, the more the angel ex- 
alted her, the more she humbled herself, and entered into 
the consideration of her own nothingness. Here Saint 
Bemardine remarks, that * had the angel said, O Mary, 
thou art the greatest sinner in the world, her astonishment 
would not have been so great ; the sound of such high 
praises filled her with fear.'^ She was troubled ; for being 
80 full of humility, she abhorred every praise of herself, and 

^ Ave, gratia plena : Bominiu tecum : Benedicta ta in mnlieribna. — Lue. i, 28 
s Q<ue cnm audiaset, tnrbata eat in aenutme epu, et cogitabat qnalia eaaet 
ista aaltttatio. — lb. S9. 

* Tnrbata est, inqnit, non in vnlta qua, aed in aennone qua. — Serm. i» Far. 
ivmost Horn. 4, AdtetU. 

* Si ipse dixisset, Tu Maria e« laacivior qnn ait in mnndo, non ita admirata 
fiuaset . . . nude . . . torbata fuit de tantia . . . landibns. — Scrtn. de Amwrc incar- 
nanle, P. iii. 



her only desire was that her Creator, the girer of evexy 
good thing, should be praised and blessed. This, Maiy her- 
self revealed to Saint Bridget, when speaking of the time in 
which she became Mother of God: 'I desired not my own 
praise, but only that my Creator, the giver of all, should 
be glorified.' ^ The Blessed Virgin was already well aware 
from the sacred Scriptures, that the time foretdd by the 
prophets for the coming of the Messiah had arrived ; that 
the weeks of Daniel were completed; that abready, according 
to the prophecy of Jacob, the sceptre of Juda had passed 
into the hands of Herod, a strange king : she already knew 
that a Virgin was to be the Mother of the Messiah. She 
then heard the angel give her praises which, it was evident, 
could apply to no other than to the Mother of Grod. Hence, 
may not the thought, or at least some vague impression, 
have entered her mind, that perhaps she was this chosen 
Mother of God ? No, her profound humility did not even 
admit such an idea. Those praises only caused great fear 
in her ; ' so much so,' as Saint Peter Cluysologus remarks, 
' that as Christ was pleased to be comforted by an angel, 
so was it necessary that the Blessed Virgin should be en- 
couraged by one.'2 Saint Gabriel, seeing Mary so troubled 
and almost stupified by the salutation, was obliged to en- 
courage her, saying, ''Fear not, Maiy; for thou hast found 
grace with God."^ Fear not, O Mary, and be not surprised 
at the great titles by which I have saluted tj|iee ; for, if 
thou, in thine own eyes, art so little and lowly, God, who 
exalts the humble, has made thee worthy to find the grace 
lost by men ; and therefore He has preserved thee from 
the common stain of the children of Adam. Hence, from 
the moment of thy conception, He has honoured thee with 
a grace greater than that of all the Saints ; and, therefore, 
He now finally exalts thee even to the dignity of being His 
Mother. *' Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and 

1 Noltd landem meam, sed solins datoris et Creatoris. f 
s Sicut Chnstufl per augelnm voluit confbitari, ita per angelnm debnit Tirgo 
aniniari. f 
' Ne timeas Maria; mrenisti enim gratiam apnd Jkma.^Luc. i, SO. 


shalt bring forth a Son: and thou shalt call His name 

And now, why this delay, O Mary ? * The angel awaits 
thy reply' (says Saint Bernard), *and we also, O Lady, 
on whom the sentence of condemnation weighs so heavily, 
await the word of mercy ;'2 we, who are already con- 
demned to death. * Behold, the price of our salvation is 
offered thee ; we shall be instantly delivered if thou con- 
sentest,'^ continues the same Saint Bernard. Behold, O 
Mother of us all, the price of our salvation is already 
offered thee ; that price will be the Divine Word, made 
man in thee; in that moment in which thou acceptest 
Him for thy Son we shall be delivered from death. * For 
thy Lord Himself desires thy consent, by which He has 
determined to save the world, with an ardour equal to the 
love with which He has loved thy beauty.'* 'Answer 
then, O Sacred Virgin,' says Saint Augustine, or some 
other ancient author; * why delayest thou giving life to the 
world ?'^ Beply quickly, O Lady ; no longer delay the sal- 
vation of the world, which now depends upon thy consent. 

But see, Mary already answers; she replies to the angel 
and says : " Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done 
to me according to thy word."^ O what more beautiful, 
more humble, or more prudent answer, could all the wis- 
dom of men and angels together have invented, had they 
reflected for a million years ! Oh powerful answer, which 
rejoiced heaven, and brought an immense sea of graces 
and blessings into the world ! — answer, which had scarcely 
fallen from the lips of Mary, before it drew the Only- 

1 Ecce concipies in utero, ct paries filinm, et vocabis nomen ejus Jesum. — 
Imc. i, 31. 

* Ex^ectat Angelua responsum . . . Expectamns et nos, Boniina vcrbuin 
miBerationis, quoB raiserabiliter premit aententia damnationis.— 7/om. iv, j«j). 

* Et ecce offertur tibi pretium salutis nostrrc ; atatim liberabimur si consentis. 
— 2J. 

* Ipse quoque oiuniiun Rex et Dominus, quantnm concupivit decorem tiium, 
tantum desiderat et responsionis assensum, in qua nimirum, proposuit salvare 
mundum. — lb. 

* Besponde nunc yerbnm ... Beata Maria, seeculum omne captivum tuum 
deprecatur assensum . . . Noli morari, Virgo: nuntio festinanter responde verbum, 
et suscipe EiJium. — Int. op. S. Ju^ttstimy Serm. ii de Annunt. 

> Ecce ancilla Domini, fiat mihi secundum rerbum tuum. — Lttc. i, 88. 



begotten Son of God from the bosom of His Eternal 
Father, to become man in her most pure womb! Yes 
indeed ; for scarcely had she uttered these words, " Be- 
hold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me ac- 
cording to thy word," than instantly, "the Word was 
made flesh." ^ The Son pf God became also the Son of 
Mary. ' O powerful Fiat !' exclaims Saint Thomas of 
VillanoYa ; * O efficacious Fiat ! O Fiat to be venerated 
above every other Fiat ! For with a fiat God created light, 
heaven, earth ; but with Mary's^^i^,' says the Saint, * God 
became man, like us.'^ 

Let us, however, not wander from our point, but consider 
the great humility of the Blessed Virgin, in this answer. 
She was fully enlightened as to the greatness of the dignity 
of a Mother of God. She had already been assured, by 
the angel, that she was this happy Mother, chosen by our 
Lord. But with all this, she in no way rises in her own 
estimation, she does not stop to rejoice in her exaltation ; 
but seeing, on the one side, her own nothingness, and on 
the other the Infinite Majesty of God, who chose her for 
His Mother, she acknowledges how unworthy she is of so 
great an honour, but will not oppose His will in the least 
thing. Hence, when her consent is asked, what does she 
do ? what does she say ? Wholly annihilated within her- 
self, yet all inflamed at the same time, by the ardour of 
her desire, to unite herself thus still more closely with God, 
and abandoning herself entirely to the divine will, 
she replies, " Behold the handmaid of the Lord." Behold 
tlie slave of the Lord, obliged to do that which her Lord 
commands. As if she meant to say : Since God chooses 
me for His JMother, who have nothing of my own, and 
since all that I have is His gift, who can ever think that 
He has done so on account of my own merits? "Behold 
the handmaid of the Lord." What merit can a slave ever 

1 Et Verbiun caro factum eat, et habitavit in nohis.— Joan, i, 14-. 

3 /a/ potcns I O J^i etticax ! O fat super omne fiat, perpetuo honore vene- 
mnduiu ! Hoc verbo jiat factus est mnndus, Gen. i : Iioc vcrbo ccclcstia, terres- 
triiique Altissimus condidit : sed tale fiat non souiut in orbe, qiuilc tu nunc 
Beutii Oiniiti.— Cone, i, i/* 4nnunt, B. m, V, 


have,^ that she ehould become the Mother of her Lord ? 
** Behold the handmaid of the Lord." May the goodness 
of God alone be praised, and not His slave ; since it is all 
His goodness, that He fixes His eyes on so lowly a crea- 
ture as I am, to make her so great. 

* humility V here exclaims the Abbot Guarric ; ' as 
nothing in its own eyes, yet sufficiently gi-eat for the Di- 
vinity 1 Insufficient for itself, sufficient for Him whom 
the heavens cannot contain.' ^ great humility of 
Mary, which makes her little to herself, but great before 
God ! Unworthy in her own eyes, but worthy in the eyes 
of that immense Lord, whom the world cannot contain. 
But the exclamation of Saint Bernard, on this subject, is 
still more beautiful, in his fourth sermon on the Assump- 
tion of Mary ; in which, admiring her humility, he says : 
* And how, O Lady, couldst thou unite in thy heart so 
humble an opinion of thyself, with such great purity, with 
such innocence, and so great a plenitude of grace, as thou 
didst possess? '2 *And how,' continues the Saint, *0 
Blessed Virgin, did this humility, and so great humility, 
ever take such deep root in thy heart, seeing thyself thus 
honoured and exalted by God ?' ' Whence thy humility, 
and so great humility, Blessed one?'^ Lucifer, seeing 
himself endowed with great beauty, aspired to exalt his 
throne above the stars, and to make himself Hke God : "I 
will exalt my throne above the stars of God ... I will be 
like the Most High."* Oh what would that proud spirit 
have said, and to what would he have aspired, had he ever 
been adorned with the gifts of Mary ? The humble Mary 
did not act thus ; the higher she saw herself raised, the 
more she humbled herseff. Ah ! Lady, concludes Saint 
Bernard, by this admirable humility, thou didst indeed 
render thyself worthy to be regarded by God with singular 

^ humilitas an^ta nbi, ampla Diviuitati ! Insufficiens ubi, Bufflciens ei 
quern non capit orbis ! t 

* Quanta vero, et quam pretiosa hnmiHtatis virtua, cuin tauta puritate, cum 
innocentia tanta, cum conscientia prorsus absque delicto, imo cum tantse gratis 
pleuitudine ? — SerM. iy, in jMump. B. M. V. 

* Unde tibi bumilitas et tanta numilitas, Beata. — lb. 

* Super astra Dei eiialtabo voliom mcoin . . . similis ero Aliisdiuo.— -ij. xir 
13, 14. 

26 § 


lore; worthy to captirate thy King with thy beauty; 
worthy to draw, by the sweet odour of thy humility, the 
Eternal Son from His repose, — ^firom the bosom of Grod, 
into thy most pure womb. * She was indeed worthy to 
l>e looked upon by the Lord, whose beauty the King 
so greatly desired, and by whose most sweet odour He 
was drawn from the eternal repose of His Father's bosom.' ^ 
Hence Bemardine de Busto says, that ' Mary merited more 
by saying, with humility, " Behold the handmaid of the 
Lord," than all pure creatures could merit together by all 
their good works.' ^ 

Thus, says Saint Bernard, this innocent Virgin, although 
she made herself dear to Grod, by her virginity, yet it was 
by her humility that she rendered herself worthy, as far as 
a creature can be worthy, to become the Mother of her 
Creator. * Though she pleased by her virginity, she con- 
ceived by her humility.'* Saint Jerome confirms tliis, 
saying, that * God chose her to be His Mother more on 
account of her humility than all her other sublime virtues.'* 
Mary herself also assured Saint Bridget of the same thing, 
saying : * How was it that I merited so great a grace as 
to be made the Mother of my Lord, if it was not that I 
knew my own nothingness, and that I had nothing, and 
humbled myself?'* This she had already declared in her 
canticle, breathing forth the most profound humility, when 
she said : " Because He hath regarded the humility of His 
handmaid ... He that is Mighty hath done great things 
to me."* On these words Saint Lawrence Justinian 
remarks, that the Blessed Virgin * did not say, He hath 

1 Digna plane qnam respiceret Dorainus, ei\jas decorem concupisceret Kex, 
ci^ns odore numjBsimo, ab aetemo illo patemi siniu attraheretur accabito. — 
Lac. eit. 

* Benedicta Virgo plus meruit sola, quam omnes alin creatune, unde S. Bonav. 
* I|>8a plus meruit intensive post annnntiationcan, qnam omnes Sancti et Saacttt 
Dei siiuul.' — P. xi, Marial. Serm, ii, p. 7, t. 

* Etsi placuit ex virginitate, tamen ex liumilitate concepit. — Horn, i sup. 
Jfisstu est. 

* Maluit Beus dc Virgine incamftri propter humilitatem, quam propt^rr aliam 
quamcuioque virtutera. f 

* Unde promerui tantam gratiam, nisi quia cogitari, et scivi, me nihil a me 
esse, vcl habere ? — Rev. lib. ii, cap. 23- 

* Quia respexit humilitatem anc^ snse . . . fecit mihi nia^;na qui potens est. 
—Ltic. i, 48, 49. 


regarded tlie virginity, or the innocence, but only the 
humility :'^ and by this humility, as Saint Francis of Sales 
observes, Mary did not mean to praise the virtue of her 
own humility, but she meant to declare that God had 
regarded her nothingness (humility, that is nothingness),^ 
and that, out of His pure goodness, He had been pleased 
thus to exalt her. 

In fine, the author of a sermon found amongst the 
works of Saint Augustine says, that Mary's humility was 
a ladder, by which our Lord deigned to descend from 
heaven to earth, to become man in her womb : * Marjr's 
humility,' he says, * became a heavenly ladder, by which 
God came into the world.' ^ This is confirmed by Saint 
Antoninus, who says, that the humility of Mary was 
her most perfect virtue, and the one which immediately 
prepared her to become the Mother of God. * The last 
grace of perfection is preparation for the Conception of 
the Son of God, which preparation is made by profound 
humility.'* The Prophet Isaias foretold the same thing : 
" And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, 
and a flower shall rise up out of his root."^ Blessed 
Albert the Great remarks on these words, that the Divine 
flower, that is to say the Only-beg&tten Son of God, was 
to be bom, not. from the summit, nor from the tnmk, of 
the tree of Jesse, but from the root, precisely to denote 
the humility of the Mother : ' By the root, humility of 
heart is understood.'* The Abbot of Celles explains it 
more clearly still, saying : ' Remark that the flower rises, 
not from the summit, but out of the root. '7 For this 
reason God said to His beloved Daughter, " Turn away 
thy eyes from me, for they have made me flee away." ^ 

^ Non ait respexit Virginitatem, non innocentiam, non virtutes CKteras, sed 
humilitatem tantum. — De Vita solit. cap. xiv. 

* Humilitatem, id est niliilitatem. 

' Facta est certe Mariae liumilitas scala coclestis, per quam descendit Deus ad 
terras. — Senn. de Jssump. int. op. S. August. 

« In radice hiimilitas cordis. — Serm. hi, de B. V. Jf. 

f Nota quod non ex summitate sed de radice asceudit flos. t! 

* Averte octilos tuos a me, quia ipsi me avolare fecenmt. — Cant. \i, i. 


Saint Augustine asks, ' Whence have they made thee flee, 
unless it be from the bosom of Thy Father, into the woiub 
of Thy Mother?'^ On this same thought the learned 
interpreter Fernandez says, that the most humble eyes of 
Mary, which she always kept fixed on the Divine greatness, 
never losing sight of her own nothingness, did such* vio- 
lence to God himself, that they drew Him into her womb: 
* Her most humble eyes held God in such a way captive, 
that this Blessed Virgin, with a kind of most sweet vie-* 
lence, drew the Word Himself of God the Father into her 
womb.'^ Thus it is that we can understand, says the 
Abbot Franco, why the Holy Ghost praised the beauty 
of this. His Spouse, so greatly, on account of her dove's 
eyes : " How beautiful art thou, my love, how beautiftd 
art thou ! thine eyes are dove's eyes."^ For Mary, looking 
at God with the eyes of a simple and humble dove, 
enamoured Him to such a degree by her beauty, that with 
the bands of love she made Him a prisoner in her ehaste 
womb. The Abbot thus speaks : * Where on earth could 
so beautiful a Virgin be found, who could allure the King 
of heaven by her eyes, and by a holy violence lead Him 
captive, bound in the chains of love ?'* So that, to con- 
clude this point, we will remark, that in the Incarnation 
of the Eternal Word, as we have already seen at the com- 
mencement of our discourse, Mary could not have humbled 
herself more than she did humble herself. Let us now 
see how it was that God, having made her His Mother, 
could not have exalted her more than He did exalt her. 

Second Foint, — To understand the greatness to which 
Mary was exalted, it would be necessary to understand 

^ Uude avolare, nisi a sinu Fatris in uterum Matris. t 

* Ita illius oculi humillimi ac modestissimi Beum tenuenint, ut suavissima 
quadflou violentia, non modo divinos thesauros diripuerit, sed ipsumuiet Dei 
ratris Verbum, ac I'iliam Unieenitmn in uterum suum, atque in materna nbera, 
ct brachia sua, hominem et iniantulum natum pulcherrima Virgo attraxerit.— /» 
ctw. xxiv Gen. sect. 1, No. 8. 

» Quam pulchra es arnica mea, quam pulclira es ! Oculi tui columbarum.— 
Cant, iv, 1. 

* Ubinam terranim tarn speciosa, quse Filium Dei dc sinu Patris alUceret ; et 
in amplexus bugs, visculid cnahtatis pia riolentia captivum txaheret f—J)c Grati 
Dei, lib. vi. 


the sublimity and greatness of God. It is sufficient then 
to say simply, that God madc^ this Blessed Virgin His 
Mother, to understand, that God could not have exalted 
her more than He did exalt her. Arnold of Chartres then 
rightly asserts, that God, by becoming the Son of the 
Blessed Virgin, * established her in a rank far above that 
of all the Saints and angels.' ^ So that, with the exception 
of God Himself, there is no one who is so greatly exalted ; 
as Saint Ephrem also asserts : * Her glory is incomparably 
greater than that of all the other celestial spirits.'^ This 
is confirmed by Saint Andrew of Crete, saying : * God 
excepted, she is higher than all.'^ Saint Anselm also 
says, * No one is equal to thee, Lady ; for all are either 
above or beneath thee : Grod alone is above thee, and all 
that is not God is inferior to thee.'* In fine, says Saint 
Bemardine, *the gi-eatness and dignity of this Blessed 
Virgin are such, that God alone does, and can, compre- 
hend it.' 6 

In this reflection we have more than sufficient, remarks 
Saint Thomas of Villanova, to take away the surprise 
which might be caused on seeing that the sacred Evange- 
lists, who have so fully recorded the praises of a John the 
Baptist, and of a Magdalen, say so* little of the precious 
gifts of Mary : * It was sufficient to say of her, " Of whom 
was bom Jesus." ' * What more could you wish the 
Evangelists to have said of the greatness of this Blessed 
Vii^n ?' continues the Saint. * Is it not enough that they 
declare that she was the Mother of God ? In th*ese few 
words they recorded the greatest, the whole, of her pre- 
cious gifts : and since the whole was therein contained, 

^ Constituta quippe est (Maria) super omnem creatoram : et quicumque Jesu 
curvat genu. Main quoque pronus supplicat et acclivis. — Le Laud. B. M. V. 

* Incomparabiliter reliquis omnibus supemis exercitibus gloriosior. — De Laui, 

B. M. r. 

* Quae, uno excepto Deo, rebus omnibus excelsior es. — In Dorm. S. M. Serm. iii. 

* Nihil tibi Domina icquiile, nihil comparabile est ; omne enim quod est, aut 
supra te est, aut subtus te est: quod supra te est solus Dens est; quod infra te, 
omne quod Deus nou est. — J)e Concept. B. M. V. 

^ Perfectiones gratiarum quas Virgo suscepit in Conreptione Filii Dei, solo 
intellectui Dirino, Christo, et sibi comprehe&sibiles extlterunt. — Semi. deNat 
B. M, V. cap. xii. 


it was nnnecessaiy to enter into details.'* And wliy not ? 
Saint Anselm replies, * that when we say of Mary she is the 
Mother of God, this alone transcends every greatness that 
can be named or imagined, after that of God.'* Peter of 
Celles, on the same snbject, adds : 'Address her as Queen 
of Heaven, Sovereign Mistress of the angels, or any other 
title of honour you may please, but never can yon honour 
her so much as by simply calling her the Mother of Grod.'* 
The reason of this is evident; for, as the angelic Doctor 
teaches, the nearer a thing approaches its author, the 
greater is the perfection it receives firom him ; and there- 
fore, Mary being of all creatures the nearest to God, she, 
more than all others, has partaken of His graces, perfec- 
tions, and greatness. He says, * The Blessed Virgin 
Mary was the nearest possible to Christ; for from her it 
was that He received His human nature ; and therefore 
she must have obtained a greater plenitude of grace from 
Him than aU others.' * To this Father Suarez traces the 
reason for which * the dignity of Mother of God is above 
every other created dignity ;' for he says, * It belongs in 
a certain way to the order of hypostatic union ; for it 
intrinsically appertains to it, and has a necessary con* 
junction with it.' ^ Hence Denis the Carthusian asserts, 
that after the hypostatic union, there is none more in- 
timate than that of the Mother of God with her Son.' ^ 

1 Saflicit ad Rjus plenam Iiistoriam quod scripttim est in Themate ; quia dc 
ilia n.itiig est Jesus. Quid ampUus ^ueeris? Quid ultra requiris in Yirgine ? 
Sufficit til#i quod Mater Dei est . . . Ubi ergo totum erat, pars scribenda non fuit. 
—Cone. II, de Nat. B. M. F. 

2 Hoc solum de Sancta Virgine prsedican, quce Dei Mater est : excedat omnem 
altitudinem quae post Deum uici vel cogitari potest. — De Excel. Virg. cap. ii. 

^ Si coeli Keginam, si Angelorum IH)minam, vel quodlibet aiiud exeellentis- 
simum, tam ab liuiuano corde, quam ore excogitatum protuleris, non adsiirget 
ad liunc superindecibilem honorcm, quo creditur et praedicatur Dei Genitrix. — 
De Panibus, cap. xxi. 

♦ (Juanto aliquid magis appropinquat principio in qnolibet genere, tanto magii 
participat cffectum illius pnncipii, &c. Beata autem Virgo Maria propinquissima 
Christo fuit secundum humanitatem, quia ex ea accepit humanam naturam : et 
ideo prsB cseteris majorem debuit a Christo gratiee plenitndinem obtinere. — 
3, p. q. xxvii, art. 5, concl. 

^ Dignitas matris est altioris ordinis, pertinet enim quodammodo ad ordinem 
unionis hypostaticas, illam enim intrinsice respicit, et cum Ula necessariam con- 
junctionem habet. — De Incamat. p. 3, q. xxvii, art. 1, disp. 1, sect. 2. 

« Post hvpostaticam conjunctionem non est alia tam vicina, ut unio Matei* 
Dei cum Filio suo.— L. ii de Land. V. t 


This Saint Thomas teaches is the supreme, the highest 
degree of union that a pure creature can have with God : 
* It is a sort of supreme union with an Infinite Person.' ^ 
Blessed Albert the Great also asserts, that *to be the 
Mother of God, is the highest dignity after that of being 
God.' ^ Hence he adds, * that Mary could not have been 
more closely united to God than she was, without becom- 
ing God.' 

Saint Bemardine says that, *to become Mother of 
God, the Blessed Virgin had to be raised to a sort of 
equality with the Divine Persons by an almost infinity of 
graces.'^ *And as children are, morally speaking, con- 
sidered one with their parents, so that their properties 
and honours are in common, it follows, says Saint Peter 
Damian, that God who dwells in creatures in difierent 
ways dwelt in Mary in an especial way, and was sin- 
gularly identified with her, making Himself one and the 
same thing with her. * The fourth mode,' he says, * in 
which God is in a creature, is that of identity ; and this 
He is in the Blessed Virgin Mary, for He is one with 
her.' Thence he exclaims in those celebrated words, 
•Let every creature be silent and tremble, and scarcely 
daxe glance at the immensity of so great a dignity. God 
dwells in the Blessed Virgin, with whom He has the iden- 
tity of one nature.' * 

Therefore Saint Thomas asserts that when Mary be- 
came Mother of God, bv reason of so close a union with 

1 Homanitaa Christi ex hoc quod est nnita Deo : et beatitudo creata ex hoc 

a nod est fmitio Dei, et beata Virgo ex hoc quod est Mater Dei, habent quandam 
i^itatem inftnitam ex bono inlinito, quod est Dens : et ex hac parte non potest 
ahquid fieri melius eis : sicnt nou potest aliquid melius esse Deo. — 1, p. q. xxr, 
art. 6, ad. 4. 

* Immediate post esse Deum, est esse Matrem Dd . . . Non potest intelligi 
puree creaturse major participari gratia, quam esse Matrem Dei. — Sup. Mi»nu. 
Resp. 3, 15, ad (]. cxl. 

3 Quod fcemina conciperet, et pararet Deum est, et Aiit, miraculum miracu- 
lorum. Oportuit enim, nt sic dicam, foeminam elerari ad quamdam squalitatem 
Divinam, per quamdam quasi inflnitatem perfectionum et gratiarum. — Strm. de 
Nat. B. M. V. cap. xii. 

'* (Quarto mode inest (Dens) nni creatune, videlicet Mariie Virgini, identitate, 
quia idem est, quod ilia. Hie taceat et contremiscat omnia creatura, et vix audeat 
aspicere tantse dignitatis, et dignationis immensitatem . . . Habitat Deus in 
Vurgine, habitat ciun ilia, cum qua nniiof natune habet identitatcm.— 5<rrm. i 
dt Nat. B. M. r. 


an infiuite good, she received a dignity irbich lather 
Suarez calls 'infinite in its kind/^ The dignity of Mother 
of God is the greatest dignity that can be conferred on 
a pure creature. For although the angelic Doctor teaches, 
' that eren the humanity of Jeans Christ could have re- 
ceived greater habitual grace from God, — since grace is a 
created gift, and therefore its essence is finite, for all 
creatures have a determined measure of capacity, so that 
it is yet in God's power to make another creature whose 
determined measure is greater/^ — ^yet since His humanity 
was destined to a personal union with a Divine Person, it 
could not have for its object anything greater ; or, as the 
Saint expresses himself in another place, 'Though the 
Divine power could create something greater and better 
than the habitual grace of Christ, nevertheless it could not 
destine it to anything greater than the personal union of 
the Only-begotten Son of the Father.' * Thus, on the other 
hand, the Blessed Virgin could not have been raised to a 
greater dignity than that of Mother of God : * Which dig- 
nity is in a certain manner infinite, inasmuch as God is an 
infinite good ; in this respect, then, she could not have been 
made greater.' ^ Saint Thomas of Yillanova says the same 
thing : ' There is something infinite in being the Mother 
of Him who is Infinite.'^ Saint Bemardine also says, 
' that the state to which God exalted Mary in making her 

1 £t illi favet etiam B. Th. dicens haac dignitatem ease aao genere infinitam 
— De Incamat. p. 2, q. xxvii, art. 1, Diap. 1, sect. 2. 

' De gratia habitaali dubinm esae potest an sit infinita. Cum enim higusraodi 
nratia fit etiam donum creatmn, confiteri oportet quod habeat essentiam finitam. 
rotest tamen dici infinita triplici ratione. Frimo quidem ex parte recipientia. 
Manifestum est enim uniuscigusque naturae creatae, capacitatem esse finitam, 
c|uia et si infinitum bonum recipere possit oognoscendo et fruendo, non tamen 
ipsam recepit infinite, est igitnr cigushbet creatuise, secundum suam speciem et 
naturam, capacitatis determinata mensura, tfXK tamen Divines potestati non 
pnejudicat, quin posset aliam creaturam nugoris capadtatia laceie. — Opute. ii, 
Compend. Theol. cap. 216. 

* Virtus Divina, ficet possit facere aliquid m^jus et melius, ouam sit babitnalia 
gi'atia Christi : non tamen posset facere, quod ordinaretur ad aliquid m^us, quam 
sit unio personalis ad Filinm Unigenitum a Fatre. — 3, p. q. vii, art. 12, ad. 2. 

* Beata Virgo ex hoc quod est Mater Dei, habet quandam dignitatem infinitam 
ex bono infinito, quod est Deus : et ex hac parte non potest aliquid fieri melins. — 
1, p. q. XXV, art. 6, ad. 4. 

^ Utique habet quandam infinitatem, esse matrem Infioiti et Omnipotentia.->- 


' His Mother was the highest state which could be con- 
ferred on a pure creature ; so that He could not have 
exalted her more.' ^ This opinion is confirmed by Blessed 
Albert the Great, who says, ' that in bestowing on Mary 
the maternity of Grod, (rod gave her the highest gift of 
which a pure creature is capable.' - 

Hence that celebrated saying of Saint BonaTenture, that 
' to be the Mother of God is the greatest grace that can be 
confeired on a creature. It is such that God could make 
a greater world, a greater heaven, but that He cannot 
exalt a creature more than by malring her His Mother.' ^ 
But no one has so well expressed the greatness of the 
dignity to which God had raised her as the Divine Mother 
herself when she said, " He that is mighty hath done great 
things in me." ^ And why did not the Blessed Virgin 
make known what were the great things conferred on her 
by God? Saint Thomas of Yillanova answers, that Mary 
did not explain them, because they could not be ex- 
pressed : ' She did not e^lain them, because they were 
inexplicable.' ^ 

Hence Saint Bernard with reason says, ' that for this 
Blessed Virgin, who was to be His Mother, God created 
the whole world.' ' And Saint Bonaventure, that its exist- 
ence depends on her wiU. He says, addressing her, ' The 
world which thou with Grod didst form, from the begin- 
ning, continues to exist at thy will, O most holy Vii^;in ;' 7 
the Saint adhering in this to the words of Proverbs, 
appUed by the Church to Mary: ''I was with Him forming 

1 Statiu matenitatii Dd, ad qnem Bens Yir^era disebat, ent nxniiniu lU- 
tna, gai ^nne CKalanc dui ponet. — De CoMtensu Firg. Serm. ii, art. S, e. 1. 

s Bomiinu B. Yiigmi iii]ii]inimdoaumt,ei^jiia capax fmtpura creatnia, scilicet 
Dei maternitatem. t 

* Ipaa est qua nu^joiem Beui faceie noa poiaet Hi^ioKm immdiim poaaet 
facere Deoi, m^jvs cadnm poaaet lacere Dem : majarem matrem quam matrem 
Dei non posset facere J)eaM.—Spee. B. M. V. Lect. x. 

* Fteit mihi magna qui potens est. — Luc. i, 49. 

' Excedit . . . enim mtelleetnm et loquelam, Virginis magnitndo, non modo 
nostram, imo forte et soam. Fedt, inqnit mihi magna qui potena est. Sed qnam 
magna? Neseio an ipsamet Tidnit oomprdienaere soam mftgnitndinem. — 
Ome. m is Nat. B. M. f. 

* Propter hanc totns mnndns iactns est. — Serm. iii tup. Salre Beg. 

7 Dispositione tna, persevtrat mnndos: qnem et ta rum Deo fnndaatiab initio . 



all things.""^ Saint Bcrnardine adds, that it was for the 
love of Man' that God did not destroy man after Adam's 
sin : * He preserved it on account of His most singular 
love for this Blessed Virgin.' ^ Hence the Holy Ghost 
with reason sinsrs of Man' : * She has chosen the best 
part ;' ^ for this Virgin Mother not only chose the best 
things, but she chose the best part of the best things ; 
* God endowing her in the highest degree,' as Blessed 
Albert the Great asserts, ' with all the general and par- 
ticular graces and gifts conferred on all other creatures, 
in consequence of the dignity granted her of the Divine 
Maternity.' * Thus Man' was a child, but of this state 
she had only the innocence, not the defect of incapa- 
city; for from the very iii-st moment of her existence 
she had always the perfect use of reason. She was a 
Virgin without the reproach of sterility. She was a 
Mother, but at the same time possessed the preciotis 
treasure of virginity. She was beautiful, even most 
beautiful, as Richard of Saint Victor asserts, with Saint 
George of Nicomedia, and Saint Denis the Areopagite, 
who (as it is believed) had the happiness of once behold- 
ing her beauty ; and he declared, that had not faith taught 
him that she was only a creature he should have adored 
her as God. Our Lord himself also revealed to Saint 
Bridget, that the beauty of His Mother surpassed that of 
all men and angels. Allowing the Saint to hear Him 
addressing Mary, He said : * Thy beauty exceeds that of 
all angels, and of all created things.'* She was most 
beautiful, I say; but without prejudice to those who looked 
upon her, for her beauty banished all evil thoughts, and 
even enkindled pure ones, as Saint Ambrose attests : * So 
great was her grace, that not only it preserved her own 

1 Cum eo eram cnncta componem. — Prov. viii, 30. 

' Propter prscipuam reverentiam et sin^larissimam dllectioiiein, qaam 
habebat ad Virginem prsservavit. — Serm. de I^at, B. M. V. cap. ii 

* Optimam partem ele^t. 

* Fuit gratia plena, quia omnes gratias generales et gpeeialei in smnmo habuit 
a quibuB omnia alia creatura vacua fuit.-~ Sib. Mar. in Luc. 

> Omnes Angelos, et omnia qute creata sunt, excesait pulcbriindo tna.— J2«v. 
lib. i, cap. 51. 


virginity, but coaferred that admirable gift of purity on 
those who beheld her/^ This is confirmed by Saint 
Thomas, who says, * that sanctifying grace not only 
repressed all irregular motions in the Blessed Virgin her- 
self, but was also effi.cacious for others; so that, not- 
withstanding the greatness of her beauty, she was never 
coveted by others,' ^ For this reason she was called 
myrrh, which prevents corruption, in the words of Eccle- 
siasticus, appfied to her by the Church : "I yielded a 
sweet odour like the best myrrh.'' ^ The labours of active 
life, when engaged in them, did not interrupt her union 
with God. In her conten^plative life she was wrapped in 
Him, but not so as to cause her to neglect her temporal 
^tfaira, and the charity due to her neighbour. She had 
to die, bD.t her death was unaccompanied by its usual 
sorrows, and not followed by the corruption of the body. 
In conclusion, then, this Divine Mother is infinitely in,- 
ferior to God, but immensely superior to all creatures ; 
and as it is impossible to find a Son more noble than Jesus ; 
so is it also impossible to find a Mother more noble than 
Mary. This reflection should cause the clients of so great 
a Queen, not only to rejoice in her greatness, but should 
also increase their confidence in her powerful patronage ; 
for, says Father Suarez, as she is the Mother of God, * she 
has a certain peculiar right to His gifts, '^ to dispense them 
to those for whom she prays. Saint Germanus, on the 
other hand, says, *that God cannot do otherwise than 
grant the petitions of this Mother; for He cannot but 
acknowledge her for His true and immaculate j\Iother.' 
Here are His words addressed to this Blessed Virgin : 
*For thou, who by thy maternal authority hast great 
power with God, obtainest the very great grace of reconcilia- 

1 Tauta erat egus gratia, ut nou solum la se virginitatis gratiam reservaret. 
Bed etiam liis quo« vii^eret, integritatis insigne coaferret. — De Inst. Virg. cap. vii. 

^ Gratia sanctificationis non tantum repressit iu ipsa (B. Y.) motua illicitos. 
Bed etiam in aliis cfUcaciam liabuit; ita ut quamvis esset pulclira corpore, a nullu 
unquam coucupisci poterat.— 7» 3 Ub. Sent. cUst. 3, q. i, art. ^, qw£stiuiiciUu 1, 
ad 4. 

3 Quasi Tuyrrba electa dedi suavitatem odoris. — Ecdcs, xxiv, 30. 

* Lnde ftt, ut singularc jus liabeat ad boua Dei i'ilii Stti.— Zte Iitcarnai. p. 2, 
q. xxvii, art. 1, disp. i, sect. 2. 


iion even for those wlio liave been gnilty of grierous crimes. 
It is impossible tbat thon shonldst not be graciously heard ; 
for God in all things compKes with thy wishes as being 
those of His true and spotless Mother.' ^ Therefore power 
to snccour us is not wanting to thee, O Mother of Grod, and 
Mother of ns all. The wfll is not wanting, ' Neither the 
power, nor the will can fail her.' ^ For thon well knowest 
(wiU I say, addressing thee in the words of thy servant 
the Abbot of Celles) that ' Grod did not create thee for 
Himself only; He gave thee to the angels as their restorer, 
to men as their repairer, to the devils as their vanqnisher; 
for through thy means we recover Divine grace, and by 
thee the enemy is conquered and crushed.' ' 

K we really desire to please the Divine Mother, let us 
often salute her with the ' Hail Mary.' She once appeared 
to Saint Matilda,^ and assured her that she was honoured 
by nothing more than by this salutation. By its means 
we shall certainly obtain even special graces from this 
Mother of Mercy, as wiU be seen in the following example. 


The event recorded by Father Paul Segneri, in his 
* Christian Instructed,' is justly celebrated. A young man 
of vicious habits and laden with sins, went to confession 
to Father Nicholas Zucchi in Borne. The confessor re- 
received him with charity, and, filled with compassion for 
his unfortunate state, assured him, that devotion to our 
Blessed Lady could deliver him from the accursed vice to 
which he was addicted ; he therefore imposed on him as his 

^ Tn vero materna, qua poUes, apnd Denm anctoritate, ad quantnmvis enormia 
lapsis peccaU superabondantem impetraa Tcniam. Neque enim anqoam datnr 
tc nom exaoditam dimitti, cni oer omnia, et propter omnia, et in omnibvw, at 
Tcrae et intemeratce Matri bus oraequitur Deus.-^/» Dorm. B. M. V. Orat. iL 

* Nee facnltas d deesse poterit, nee voluntas. — Sertn. i de Mjump. B- M. F. 

* "Son solum sibi Ipsi te fecit ; sed te angelis dedit instaurationem hominibua 
et nostrce natures in reparationem, inferiori creaturse in liberationem, Sibi in 
matrem, dKroonibns in liostem, detentis in Limbo in ereptionem. Nam in prin- 
crpio cum ccciderunt An^li, natura erat corrupta, Deus offensus, et diabolus 
victor. Scd ^r te super-benedicta Virgo Maria, innocentia reparatur, vita 
angelica reduatur, Beus nomini pacificator et unitor, diabolus vincitur et cou- 
tentnr. — ConUmpl. Virg. cap. iv. 

* P. ill, Rag. 34. t 


penance, that he should say a * Hail Mary ' to the Blessed 
Virgin every morning and evening, on getting up and on 
going to bed, until his next confession ; and, at the same 
time, that he should offer her his eyes, his hands, and his 
whole body, beseeching her to preserve them as something 
belonging to herself, and that he should kiss the ground 
three times. The young man performed the penance, but 
at first there was only slight amendment. The father, 
however, continued to inculcate the same practice on him, 
desiriag him never to abandon it, and, at the same time, 
encouraged him to confide in the patronage of Mary. In 
the mean time the penitent left Rome with other com- 
panions, and during several years, traveUed in different 
parts of the world. On his return, he again sought out 
his confessor, who, to his great joy and admiration, found 
that he was entirely changed, and free from his former evil 
habits. * My son,' said he, * how hast thou obtained so 
wonderful a change from God ? ' The young man replied : 
* Father, our blessed Lady obtained me this grace on ac- 
count of that little devotion which thou taughtest me. 
Wonders did not cease here. The same confessor related 
the above fact from the pulpit : a captain heard it who for 
many years had carried on improper intercourse with a 
certain woman, and determined that he also would practise 
the same devotion, that he too might be delivered from the 
horrible chains which bound him a slave of the devil (for 
it is necessary that sinners, should have this intention, in 
order that the Blessed Virgin may be able to help them), 
and he also gave up his wickedness and changed his life. 

But stiU more. After six months, he foolishly, and 
relying too much on his own strength, went to pay a visit 
to the woman, to see if she also was converted. But on 
coming up to the door of the house, where he was in 
manifest danger of relapsing into sin, he was driven back by 
an invisible power, and found himself as far from the house 
as the whole length of the street, and standing before his 
own door. He was then clearly given to understand that 
Mary had thus delivered him from perdition. From this we 

27 § 


may learn how solicitous our good Mother is, not only to 
withdraw us from a state of sin, if we recommend ourselves 
to her for this purpose, but also to deliver us from the 
danger of relapsing into it. 


Oh inmiaculate and holy Virgin ! O creature the most 
humble and the most exalted before Grod ! Thou wast so 
lowly in thine own eyes, but so great in the eyes of thy 
Lord, that he exalted thee to such a degree as to choose 
thee for His Mother, and then made thee Queen of heaven 
and earth. I therefore thank God, who so greatly has ex- 
alted thee, and rejoice in seeing thee so closely united with 
Him, that more cannot be granted to a pure creature. 
Before thee, who art so humble, though endowed with such 
precious gifts, I am ashamed to appear, I who am so proud 
in the midst of so many sins. But miserable as I am, I 
will also salute thee, " Hail Mary, full of grace." Thou 
art already full of grace; impart a portion of it to 
me. "Our Lord is with thee." That Lord who was 
always with thee from the first moment of thy creation, 
has now united himself more closely to thee, by becoming 
thy son. " Blessed art thou amongst women." O Lady, 
blessed amongst all women, obtain the Divine blessing for 
us also, "^d blessed is the fruit of thy womb." O 
blessed plant, which hath given to the world so noble and 
holy a fruit ! * Holy Mary, Mother of God !' O Mary, I 
acbiowledge that thou art the true Mother of God, and 
in defence of this truth, I am ready to give my life a thou- 
sand times. * Pray for us sinners.' But if thou art the 
Mother of God, thou art also the Mother of our salvation, 
and of us poor sinners ; since God became man to save 
sinners, and made thee His Mother, that thy prayers 
might have power to save any sinner. Hasten then, O 
Mary, and pray for us, *now, and at the hour of our 
death.' Pray always : pray now, that we live in the midst 
of so many temptations and dangers of losing God ; but 
still more, pray for us at the hour of our death, when we 


are on the point of leaving this world, and being presented 
before Grod's tribunal ; that being saved by the merits of 
Jesus Christ, and by thy intercession, we may come one 
day, without further danger of being lost, to salute thee 
and praise thee with thy Son in heaven for all eternity. 



Maty is the Treasurer of all Divine Graces ; therefore^ 
whoever desires Graces^ must have recourse to Mary ; and 
lie w7u> has recourse to Mary may he certain of obtaining 
the Graces he desires, 

FOETUNATE does that family consider itself which is 
visited by a royal personage, both on account of the 
honour that redounds from such a visit, and the advantages 
that may be hoped to accrue from it. But still more for- 
tunate should that soul consider itself "which is visited by 
the Queen of the world, the most holy Virgin Mary, who 
cannot but fill with riches and graces those blessed souls 
whom she deigns to visit by her favours. The house of 
Obededom was blessed when visited by the ark of God : 
" And the Lord blessed his house."^ But wdth how much 
greater blessings are those persons enriched who receive a 
loving visit from this living ark of Grod, for such was the 
Divine Mother 1 * Happy is that ho\^se which the Mother of 
Grod visits,' 2 says Engelgrave. This was abundantly ex- 
perienced by the house of Saint John the Baptist; for 
Mary had scarcely entered it when she heaped graces and 
heavenly benedictions on the whole family ; and for this 
reason, the present feast of the Visitation is commonly 

^ Et benedixit Dominus domui ejus, et omnibits Qtuc Iiabebat. — 1 Taralif 
juii, 14. 
9 l^elix illadomiu quaxn Mater Dei visitat. f 


dalled that of ' oui Blessed Lady of Graces.' Hence we 
shall see in the present discourse, that the Divine Mother 
is the treasurer of all graces. We shall divide it into two 
parts. In the first we shall see that whoever desires graces 
must have recourse to Mary. In the second, that he who 
has recourse to Mary should be confident of receiving the 
graces he desires. 

First Point. — After the Blessed Virgin had heard horn the 
Archangel Gabriel, that her cousin Saint Elizabeth had been 
six months pregnant, she was internally enlightened by the 
Holy Ghost to know that the Incarnate Word, who had 
become her Son, was pleased then to manifest to the world 
the riches of His mercy in the first graces that He desired 
to impart to all that family. Therefore, without inter- 
posing any delay, according to Saint Luke, " Mary rising 
up . . . went into the hiU country with haste." ^ Hising 
from the quiet of contemplation to which she was always 
devoted, and quitting her beloved solitude, she imme- 
diately set out for the dwelling of Saint Elizabeth ; and 
because " charity beareth aU things ;" - and cannot support 
delay, as Saint Ambrose remarks on this Gospel : * The 
Holy Ghost knows not slow undertakings;'^ without 
even reflecting on the arduousness of the jouniey, this 
tender Virgin, I say, immediately undertook it. On 
reaching the house she salutes her cousin: "And she 
entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Eliza- 
beth." ♦ Saint Ambrose here remarks, that Mary was 
' this first to salute^ ^ Elizabeth. The visit of Mary, how- 
ever had no resemblance with those of woiidlings, which, 
fbt the greater part, consist in ceremony and outward 
deftlottStrations, devoid Of all sincerity ; for it brought with 
it an accumidatlon of graces. The moment she entered 
that dweUing, on her first salutation, Elizabeth was filled 

1 Exsur^enB autem Maria in diebns illis abiit in montana cum ftetinati<me.— 
L0e. i, 39. 

* Charitas omnia suffert. — 1 Cor. xiii, 7. 

* Nescit toi-da molimina Sancti Spiiitos gratia: — Sxp. Fvanff. tee. Zue. ]ib. ii. 
No. 19. 

* Kt intravit in domum Zacharijc, ct salutant Elizabeth. — Luc. i, 40. 

* Kcc solum venit, sed etiam prior salutavit. — Loc. cit. No. 22. 


with the Holy Ghost, and Saint John was cleansed from 
original sin, and sanctified; and therefore gave that 
mark of joy by leaping in his mother's womb ; wishing, 
thereby, to manifest the grace that he had received by 
the means of the Blessed Virgin, as Saint Elizabeth her- 
self declared : "As soon as the voice of thy salutation 
sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for 
joy." ^ Thus, as Bemardine da Bustis remarks, in virtue 
of Mary's salutation. Saint John received the grace of the , 
Divine Spirit which sanctified him : ' When the Blessed 
Virgin saluted Elizabeth, the voice of the salutation enter- 
ing her ears, descended to the child, and by its virtue he 
received the Holy Ghost.' ^ 

And now, if all these first firuits of Bedemption passed 
by Mary as the channel through which grace was com- 
municated to the Baptist, the Holy Ghost to Elizabeth, 
the gift of prophecy to Zachaiy, and so many other blessings 
to the whole house, the first graces, which, to our know- 
ledge, the Eternal Word had granted on earth after His 
Incarnation, it is quite correct to believe, that from thence- 
forward God made Maiy the universal channel, as she is 
called by Saint Bernard, through which all the other graces 
which our Lord is pleased to dispense to us should pass, 
as we have already declared in the fifth chapter of the 
first part of this work.- 

With reason, then, is this Divine Mother called the 
treasure, the treasurer, and the dispenser of Diiine graces. 
She is thus called by the venesable Abbot of Celles, 
* the Treasure of God, and the Treasurer of graces ;' * by 
Saint Peter Damian, * the Treasure of Divine graces ;' * 
by Blessed Albert the Great, *the Treasurer of Jesus 
Christ ;' 5 by Saint Bemardine, * the Dispenser of 

1 Ecce enim nt facia est tox salutatioius tuso in aaribns meb, exsaltarit in 
gaodio infana in utero meo. — Lue. i, 44. 

* Chriatas fecit Mariam salutare Elizabeth, ut aenuo procedena de utero 
Matris nbi habitabat Dominns, per aures Elizabeth ingressus descenderet ad 
Joannem : at illic eum nngeret in prophetam. — Marial. r. vi, Senu. 1, n. 3. 

* Thesaurus Domini est, etthesauraria gratiarum ipsius. — Contemjil. aeB.V. Jil. 

* Gazophylaciom thesauri. — Serm. ii de Nat. B. M. V. 
' Thesauraria Jesu Christi. t 


graces ;' ^ by a learned Grreek, quoted by Petavius, ' the 
Storebouse of all good tbings/ ^ So also by Saint Gregory 
Tbaumaturgus, who observes, that ' Mary is said to be 
thus full of grace ; for in her all the treasures of grace were 
hidden.' ^ Eichard of St. Lawrence also says, that ' Mary 
is a treasure, because God has placed all gifts of graces 
in her as in a treasuiy ; and from thence He bestows great 
stipends on his soldiers and labourers.' * She is a treasury 
of mercies whence our Lord enriches His servants. 

Saint Bonaventure, speaking of the field in the Gospel, 
in which a treasure is hidden, and which should be pur- 
chased at however great a price, *' The kingdom of heaven 
is like unto a treasure hidden in a field, which a man 
having found hid it ; and for joy thereof, goeth and selleth 
all that he hath, and buyeth that field," ^ says that ' our 
Queen Mary is this field in which Jesus Christ, the trea* 
|ure of God the Father, is hid,' ^ and with Jesus Christ 
the source and fiowing fountain of all graces. Saint 
Bepicprd affirms, that our Lord ' has deposited the pleni- 
tude of every grace in Mary, that we may thus know that 
if we possess hope, grace, or anything salutary, that it ia 
from her that it came.' ^ Of tbis we are also assured by 
Mary herself, saying, " In me is aU grace of the way and 
of the truth '"^ in me arQ all the graces of real blessings 
that you men can desire in life. Yes, sweet Mother, and 
our hc^e, we know fvjl well, says Saint Peter Damian, 
* that aUlthe treasures of Divine mercies are in thy hands.' ' 

^ Dispensatrix oumuiu gratiaxvm. — Serm. de JSzali. B. M. V. art. ii, cap. 3. 

? Turromtuarium omnium bouorum. t 

* Cum ip8a, totus giatice thesaurus rcconditus eret. — Serm. i t« Jnnnne. 

s. M. r. 

^ Maria est thesaurus : quia in ea, ut in g^izophylacio, reposuit Boininus orani^ 
doua gi-atiarum, meritorum, virtutum pt prieroj^ativaruni doitoruni et charis- 
malum : et de thesauro largitur ipse larga stipendia suis militibus et operariid.— > 
Tkf Laud. r. 1. iv, c. 21. 

^ Simile est re<;num coslorum thesauro abacondito la agro : quera qui iaveuit 
homo, ahscondit el prte gaudio iUius vudit, et vcudit uulversa qu$e habet, et emit 
agrum iUum. — Mattk. xiii, 44. 

^ Ager iste est Maria, in qua thesaurus Augelorum, imo totus Dei Fatiiii 
absconditus est. — Spec. B. M. Y. Lect. vii, 

^ Totius boni plenitudineni posuit in Maria; ut prolndu si quid spei in nobis 
est, si quid gratite, si quid salutis, ab canovcrimus rcdundare. — Semi, de Jquad. 

* In me ^atia omnis viae et vcritatis. — Kvcles. xxiv, 25. 

» In manibus tuis sunt thesauri niiserationum Domini. — Senn. ii m Nat. B. Jf. K 


Before Saint Peter Damian, Saint Udephonsus asserted 
the same thing in even stronger terms, when speaking 
to the Blessed Virgin, he said, O Lady, ' all the graces 
that Grod has decreed for men. He has determined to 
grant through thy hands ; and therefore to thee ha^ H6 
committed all the treasures and ornaments of grace ;' ^ so 
that, O Mary, concludes Saint Germanus, no grace is dis- 
pensed to any one, otherwise than through thy hands : 
* There is no one saved but by thee ; no one who receives 
a gift of God but through thee.' ^ Blessed Albert the 
Great makes a beautiful paraphrase of the words of the 
angel, addressed to the most Blessed Virgin : " Fear not 
MaTv, for thou hast found grace with God."^ 'Fear 
not, O Mary, for thou hast found, not taken grace, as 
Lucifer tried to take it ; thou hast not lost it as Adam 
lost it ; thou hast not bought it as Simon Magus would 
have bought it : but thou hast foimd it, because thou 
hast desired and sought it.' * Thou hast found increated 
grace, that is, God Himself become thy Son ; and with 
that grace thou hast found and obtained every created 
good. Saint Peter Chrysologus confirms this thofught, 
saying, * This great Virgin and Mother found grace to 
restore thereby salvation to aU men.* ^ And elsewhere he 
says, that Mary found a grace so full, that it sufficed to 
save all : * Thou hast found grace, but how great a grace ! 
It was such that it filled thee ; and so great was its pleni- 
tude, that it could be poured down as a torrent on every 
creature;'^ so much so indeed, says Richard of Sairit 

1 Omnia bona quse illii somma mtgestas derrmt farere, tin's raanibns decrerit 
coramendare ; commissi qnippe tibi sunt thesauri et ornamenta gratiaram.— /n 
Cor. Vtrff. cap. xv. t 

* >' nllas enini est, qui solvus fiat, Sanctissima nisi, per te . . . nemo ett^ eni 
donum concedatur, nisi peif te, Castissima. — De Zon. T . 

« Nc timeas Maria, invenisti cnim gratiam apud Deum. — Luc. i, SO 

* He timeas, quia invenisti gratiam apud Deum, non creasti, at Dens . . . non 
puisti, ut primus Angelus, non perdidisti, utprimus parens, non emisti, nt 
Simon Magas : sed invenisti, quia qusesivisti nt Virgo prudentissima, docmsti ut 

fidelissima reddidisti vt Mater misericordissima; invenisti quid? dico, Dei 
niiserantis charitatem* Dei promittentia veritatem, toi ad hoc idoneitatem. — Bib. 
Nar. in Luc. 

> Hanc gratiam detulit Angelus, accepit Virgo salutem sscolis redditura. — 
Serm. iii de Annunt. 

• "Invenisti gratiam/* Quantam! qnantam superins diierat. " Plenam," 
et verc plenam, quse largo irabre totam fnnderet et infunderet creaturam.— /&. 
SeniLi ii. 


Lawrence, *that as Grdd made the sun, that by its mtfiCBA 
light might be diffused on the whote earth-; iso-dm Mte 
made Mary, that by hei* all Divine mercies may berdilM 
pensed to the world.' ^ Saint Bemardme adds, thdt 
*From the time that the Virgin Mother conoeivtti tig 
Divine Word in her womb, she obtained a kind ofjari*- 
diction, so to say, over all the temporal manifestations tH 
the Holy Ghost ; so that no creature can obtain, any gf^aas 
from Gx)d, that is not di^ensed by this tender and 
compassionate Mother.'^ 

Hence let us conclude this point in the word9*of Riciiard 
Saint Lawrence, who says, ' that if we wish to obtain aiiy 
grace, we must have recourse to Mary, the finder of grace, 
who cannot but obtain all that she asks for her serradts^j 
for she has recovered the Divine grace which was k«ti and 
always finds it.' * This thought he borrowed from Saint 
Bernard, who says, * Let us seek for grace, end seek it bj^ 
Mary ; for that which she seeks she finds, and connot m 
frustrated.'* If we thai desire graces, we must gotb 
this treasurer and dispenser of graces ; for it is the ^t^fb^ 
reign will of the giver of every good thing, and we tire 
assured of it by the same Saint Bernard, that all graces 
should be dispensed by the hands of Mary : ' For s^ ii 
His will, who is pleased that we should have all by Mary.** 
All, all, and he who says all, excludes nothing. But 
because confidence is necessary to obtain graces, we wiM 
now consider how certain we ought to feel of t)btauliifg 
them when we have recourse to Mary. 

Second Point, — ^Why did Jesus Christ d^sit all the 
riches of mercy which He intends for us in the hiifidis of 
His Mother, unless it was that she might therewith CQrich 
aU her clients who love her, who honour her, and who 
have recourse to her with confidence? **With Boe ^^ 

^ Sicut sol ad hoc factus est, ut illuminet totum mundum, tid !Mai^.ii4 j 
facta est a Deo Triuitatc, ut niisericordiaxu, veniam, gpratiam> et |^j:iatd,,^il 
lumen a Deo imDcti-et toti mimdo.— JJiC Laud. T. 1. vii, c. 3. . , ' ' . \ 

* See page 128, note 1. .,',", j,>, 

* Cupientes invenire gratiam, qusranms inventricem. gratlte,' ii^wHy. ^i^tb 
quia semper invenit, frustrari non poterit.— 23f Land. T. lib. ii, cap. ,6. '"' j 

* Quaeramus gratiam, et per Mariam qusramus : quia quod quffirit, inremt, et 

frustrari non potest. — Serm. de Jqvred. 
• Quia sic est voluntas ejus, qui totu 

M nos habere roluit per Mariam.-r/lft. 


riches . . . that I may enrich them that love me." ^ Thus 
the Blessed Virgin herself assures us that it is so in this 
passage, which the Holy Church applies to her on so 
many of her festivals. Therefore for no other purpose 
than to serve us, says the Abbot Adam, are those riches 
of eternal life kept by Mary, in whose breast our Lord has 
deposited the treasure of the miserable, and that the poor 
being supplied from it may become rich : ' The riches of 
salvation are in custody of the Blessed Virgin for our use. 
Christ has made Mary's womb the treasury of the poor ; 
thence the poor are enriched.' ^ And Saint Bernard says, 
* that she is a fuU aqueduct, that others may receive of 
her plenitude.' ^ Mary was therefore given to the world, 
that by her, graces might continually descend from heaven 
upon men. 

Hence the same holy Father goes on to ask, ' But why 
did Saint Gabriel, having found the Divine Mother already 
full of grace, according to his salutation, " Hail ! full of 
grace," afterwards say, that the Holy Ghost would come 
upon her to fill her stUl more with grace ? If she was 
abeady full of grace, what more could the coming of the 
Divine Spirit effect?' The Saint answers, 'Maiy was 
already full of grace, but the Holy Ghost filled her to 
oveiflowing for our good, that from her superabundance 
we miserable creatures might be provided.'^ For this 
same reason Maiy was called the moon, of which it ia 
said, ' She is frdl for herself and others.' ^ 

" He that shall find me shall find life, and shall have 
salvation from the Lord." ' Blessed is he who finds me 
by having recourse to me, says our Mother. He will find 

^ Heenm mnt divitue, et eUuia . . . vt ditem diUgentes me.-— ^ror. TiU, 18, SI. 

* Bintis laintis penes virgiBem nottris niibnt retenrantnr. Christut in 
TiTginia utero panperum gazopbjlachun coDocant ; inde pauperes locupletati 
tunt.— /» AUeg. utr. Test. cap. xjov, Sccl. t 

> Planni aqunductua, at accipiant cseteri de plenitudine . . propterea tanto 
tempore, linmano generi flaenta gratise defheruut, quod neeiluiu intercederet is 
de quo loquimur tam desiderabilia aqffiductus. — Serm.. de Jqiiard. 

^ Ad quid nisi at adveniente jam spirita jtlena, sibi eodrm superrenifnte, 
nobis qooqae superpleiia et supereftluens i\&t?^Senn. ii de Jssmnp. B. M. V. 

^ T.nnn plenn sibi, rt nlii«. 

•Q\ii me iiivenerit. inveuiet vHaw, ft lianriet snlntem n Domino. — Pmr. vlii. "5. 



life, and will find it easily ; for as it is easy to find and 
draw as much water as we please from a great fonntain, 
ao it is easy to fiad graces and eternal salvation by having 
xeeonrse to Mary. A holy soul once said, We have otily 
to seek graces fnmi our Blessed Lady to receive them. 
Saint Bernard abo says, * that it was because the Blessed 
Virgia was not yet bom, that in aTwietit times the great 
dbandanee of graces which we now see flow on the world 
was wafnting; for Mary, this desirable channel, did not 
eadst.' But now that we* have this Mother of Mercy, what 
graees axe there that we need fear not to obtain when w^ 
cast ourselves at her feet? *I am the city of refuge' 
^hus Saint John Damascen makes her speak) 'fbr sfll 
those who have reccairse to me.' ^ Come then to me, my 
children, for from me you will obtain graces, and these in 
greater abundance than yon can possiWy imagine.* * 

It is true that that which the Venerable Sister Mart 
"Villani saw in a celestial vision is experienced by many. 
This servant of God once saw the Divine Mother as a 
great fountain, to which many went, and from it they 
carried off the waters of grace in great abundance ; but 
what then happened ? Those who had sound jars pre- 
served the graces they received ; but those who brought 
bxokai vessels, that is to say, those whose souls were 
burthened with sin, received graces, but did not long pre- 
serve them% It is however certain that men, even those 
who are ungrateful sinners, and the most miserable, daily 
obtain innumerable graces from Mary. Saint Augustine, 
addrsssing the Blessed Virgin, says, 'Through thee do the 
miserable obtain' mercy, the ungracious grace, sinners 
pardon, the weak strength^ the worldly heavei^-y things, 
mortals life, and pilgriins their country.' ^ 

Let us then, O devout clients of Mary, rouse ourselves 

^ Ego lis qui ad me confa^nnt, ciritas refugii. Accedite populi cum fide> et 
gratiarum 4oiia aflElucntissime haurite.— ifom. u in Dormit. B. M. K 

* Per te hsereditemus misericordiam miseri, ingrati gratiam, vcniam peccatores, 
Bublimia infirmi, codestia terreni, mortales vitam, et patriam ueregrmi.— j&m. 
4/tAtmmp. B.M.F.f 


to greater and greater confidence each time tkat we haye- 
recourse to her for graces. That we may do so, let us 
always remember two great prerogatives of this good 
Mother; her great desire to do us good, and the power 
she has with her Son to obtain whatever she asks. To be 
convinced of the desire that Mary has to be of service to 
aJI, we need only consider the mystery of the present festi- 
val, that is, Mary's visit to Saint Elizabeth. The journey 
from Nazareth, where the most Blessed Virgin lived, to 
the city of Judea, in which Saint Elizabeth resided, 
was one of at least sixty-nine miles, as we learn from 
Brother Jo3q>h of Jesus Mary, the author of a Life 
of the Blessed Virgin, Bede, and Brocardus ; but, not- 
^ withstanding the arduousness of the* undertaking, the 
Blessed Virgin, tender and delicate as she then was, and 
unaccustomed to such fatigue, di^ not delay her departure. 
And what was it that impelled her ? It was that great 
chanty with which her most tender heart was ever filled, 
that drove her, so to say, to go and at once commence 
her great office of dispenser of graces. Precisely thus does 
Saint Ambrose speak of her journey : * She did not go in 
incredulity of the prophecy, but glad to do what she had 
undertaken ; it was joy that hastened her steps, in the ful- 
filment of a rdigious office ;'i the Saint thereby meaning, 
that she did not undertake the journey to inquire into the 
truth of what the angel had announced to her of the preg- 
nancy of Saint Elizabeth, but exulting in the greatness of 
her desire to be of service to that family, and hastening 
for the joy she felt in doing good to others, and wholly 
intent on that work of charity : " Rising, she went with 
haste." Here let it be obser\'ed, the evangelist in speak- 
ing of Mary's departure for the house of Elizabeth, says, 
that she went with haste ; but when he speaks of her re- 
turn, he no longer says anything of haste, but simply that 
" Mary abode with her about three months ; and she re- 

1 Ubi audivit hoc Maria, noa quasi incredula de oraculo, sec quasi incerta de 
nimtio, nee quasi dubitana de exempio: scd quasi Iseta pro voto, rt^^osa pro 
officio, festina pro gaadio, iu montaua perrexLt.— iKi^. £9, tee. Luc. lib. u, No. 19. 


turned to her own house." ^ What other object then, 
asks Saint Bonaventure, could the Mother of God have 
had in view, when she hastened to visit the house of Saint 
John the Baptist, if it was not the desire to render service 
to that family ? * What caused her to hasten in the per- 
formance of that act of charity but the charity which burnt 
in her heart ?'^ This charity of Mary towards men cer- 
tainly did not cease when she went to heaven ; nay more, 
it greatly increased there, for there she better knows our 
wants and has still greater compassion for our miseries. 
Bemardine de Bustis writes, *that Mary desires more 
earnestly to do us good and grant us graces than we desire 
to receive them.'* So much so, that Saint Bonaventure 
says, that she considers herself offended by those who do 
not ask her for graces : * Not only those, O Lady, offend 
thee who outrage thee, b\it thou art also offended by those 
who neglect to ask thy favours.'* For Mary's desire to 
enrich ail with graces is, so to say, a part of her nature, 
and she superabundantly enriches her servants, as blessed 
Eaymond Jordano affirms : * Mary is God's treasure, and 
the treasurer of His graces ; she plentifully endows her 
servants with choice gifts.' ^ 

Hence the same author says, that * He who finds Mary 
finds every good.'* And he adds, that every one can 
find her, even the most miserable sinner in the world ; for 
she is so benign that she rejects none who have recourse 
to her : * Her benignity is such, that no one need fear to 
approach her. And her mercy is so great, that no one 
meets with a repulse.' 7 Thomas a Kempis makes her 

^ Mansit autem Mai-ia cum ilia qnaai niensibus fxibus: et reversa est in 
doDium siiam. — Luc. i, 56. 

* Quid earn ad ofiiciuin charitatis festinare cogcbat, nisi charitas quae in corde 
ejus icrvebat. — Spec. B. M. V. Lect. iv. 

* Plus enim desiderat ipsa facere ti1)i bonum, et larpri aliouam gratiam, quam 
tu accipere coneupiscas.—ilfArta^ P. ii, Serm. v de Nat. B. M. V. 

^ In te Domina peccant non solnm qui tibi injuriam iirogant, sed etiam qui te 
uon rogaiit. — S^c. B. M. V. t 

* Maria thesaurus Domini est, et tltesauroria gratiamra ipsius. Donis ^pecia- 
libus ditat copiosissime servientes v^\.—Conlpmpl. B. M. V. in Prol. 

« Inrenta . . . Virginc Maria, invenitnr onme nonum. — Ih. 
7 Tanta qaoque est ejus benignitas, quod nuUi formidandum est ad earn acce> 
dcte ; tantaque misericordia, quod ab ea nemo repellitur. — lb. 


•ay.; M iuyite all io haye reoourse to me, I expect all, I 
de§$rQ all) igid I never deepiae any amner, however unworthy 
jbe may be» who cornea to seek my fdd.'-^ Eichaxd of Saint 
Lawrence saya. that whoever goes to ask graces £rom Maiy 
^ finds her always prepared to help ;' tiiat is, she is always 
ready and inclined to. help ns, and to obtain ns every grace 
of eternal wlvation by her powerful piayers. 

I say by her powerful prayers ; for another reflection 
which should increase our confldence» is that we know and 
are certain that she obtains of God all that she asks for 
her cliei^ts. Observe especially, says Saint Bonaventure, 
in tins visit of Mary to Saint Elizabeth, the great power 
of her words. According to the Evangelist, at the sound 
of her voice the grace of the Holy Ghost was conferred on 
l^aint Elizabeth, as well as on her son Saint John the 
Baptist; ^'Aiid it came to pass, that when Elizabeth 
heard the salutation >of ]Mary, the infant leaped in her 
wpmb, and she was filled with the Holy Ghost." ^ On this 
\exi Saint Bonaventure says, ' See how great is the power 
Qf the words of our Lady; for no sooner has she pronounced 
them, than the Holy Ghost is given.*^ Theophilus of Alex- 
andria says, 'that Jesus is greatly pleased when Mary 
intercedes with Him for us ; for all the graces which He 
is, so to say, forced to grant through her prayers. He con- 
siders as granted not so much to us as to herself/^ And 
remark the words, ' Forced by the prayers of his Mother.' 
YeSj, for as Saint Germuius attests, Jesus cannot do other- 
wise than graciously accede to all that Mary asks, wishing, 
as it were, in this to obey her as His true Mother. Hence 
tKe Saint says that Hhe prayers of this Mother have a 
certain maternal authojrity with Jesus Christ ; so that she 
obtains tl^e grace of pardon even for those who have been 

'} Oinnes invito^ omnet expeeto, onxnes ▼enire desidero, Bulliun peoeatorem 
dj^]ficicu—-SQlihq. Jn. cap. xxiv. 

' < £t factum est, vt auairit salutationem Mariee Elizabeth, exsultavit infans in 
utejco duaj 9t repleta eat Spinttt Saaeto £lieal)etli.— Zwc. i,4l. 

* Vitte Quanta vixtua ait in retha DQminae* qma ad eorum pronnntiationem 
confertur Spiritua Saootas.—JIftf^f. Vik Ckristi, cap. ▼. 

* Qaodet fUioa orante Matre, quia omnia q«» nobis j^cibns auee genitrids 
evictiis ftonat, ipai !M«tri sa donaaae putat. t 

28 § 


guilty oi' grievous ciime«) and commend themselves to 
her ;' and then he concludes : ' For it is not possible that 
thou shouldst not be graciously heard; for God in all 
things acts towards thee as His true and spotless Mother/^ 
This is fully confirmed, as Saint John Chrysostom observes, 
by what took place at the marriage-feast of Cana, when 
Mary asked her Son for wine, which had failed : " They 
have no wine." Jesus answered : " Woman, what is that 
to nie and to thee? my hour is not yet come."^ But 
though the time for miracles was not yet come, as Saint 
Chrysostom and Theophylact explain it ; yet, says Saint 
Chi^^sostom, *the Saviour, notwithstanding his answer, 
and to obey His Mother, worked the miracle she asked 
for,'-'* and converted the water into wine. 

" Let us go, therefore, with confidence to the throne of 
grace," says the Apostle, exhorting us, " that we may ob- 
tain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid."* * The 
throne of grace is the Blessed Virgin Mary,'^ says blessed 
Albert the Great. If then we wish for graces, let us go 
to the Throne of Grace, which is Mary; and let us go 
with the certain hope of being heard ; for we have Mary's 
intercession, and she obtains from her Son all whatever 
she asks* *Let us seek for grace,' I repeat with Saint 
Bernard, ' and let us seek it through Mary :^ trusting to 
what the Blessed Virgin Mother hersdf said to Saint 
Matilda, that the Holy Ghost, filling h&t with all His 
sweetness, has rendered her so dear to God, that whoever 
seeks graces through her intercession is certain to obtain 

• And if we credit that celebrated saying of Saint Ansehn, 
•II ■ ' • ' I ' ' ■'• ■■''' '^'''' '' ''^ 

1 In Dorm. B. M. F. Orat. ii. Sec page S16, ttate !• i > j' - i*'' Ut'-' j 

', Dicct Mater Jesu ad eum : Vinum non Tialjcnt. Et dicel ei Jesus : .Quid 
miiii, et tlbi eat itiuliisr ? ncmdum veiut Iwrd niea.— J<»a».' ii, 8, 4. ' - " ' 

.,.3.Cu^ id, in^u^m xespon^sset, quod Tolebtit Mater ^iti)i:..-rr>JnxJ9^'ff^l, 

* Adeamni ergo cum fiducia ad thronum gratia;: nt inisericordiam couse* 
qjuiui^Wt f^t' gsft^iwm iamiiawus »i awiUio oppoctmift-^^IfiQ^^ iv,.il6- - < ,.ii ■ . 

s Tbronus gratice est B. Vii^o livxm.-^^S$m. M de,Jk4ip*J£fi«l^ • . -um . •-. 

^C^w^amuiit gratiamj et per Mariajii quspnunus*— .Swrw* .4e ^r^fm*^. h' W - 

7 Spintus Sauctus tota sua dulcedine me penetrando, tain gratiosam e£S9fliti,Ml 
omnis qui per me gratiam quajrit, ipsam inveniet.— ^/?. Canw. life, i, epp». 13,1 1- 


'that aiilvatioii is occasiomiliy more easily obtained by call- 
ing on the name of Mary, than by invoking that of Jesus;' * 
that is to say, we sometimes sooner obtain graces by having 
recourse to Mary, than by having directly recourse to our 
Saviour Jesus Himself; not that He is not the source 
and Lord of aU graces ; but because, when we have re- 
course to the Mother, and she prays for us, her prayers 
have greater eflScacy tlian ours, as being those of a Mother : 
let us never leave the feet of this treasurer of graces •, but 
ever address her, in the words of Saint John Damascen : 

* O Blessed Mother of God, open to us the gate of mercy, 
for thou art the salvation of the human race.' ^ O, 
Mother of God, open to us the door of thy compassion, 
by always praying for us, for thy prayers are the salvation 
of all men. When we have recourse to Marv, it would 
be advisable to entreat her to ask and obtain us the 
graces, which she knows to be the most expedient for 
our salvation; this is precisely what the Dominican 
Brother Keginald did, as it is related in the chronicles of 
the order. ^ This servant of Mary was ill, and he asked 
her to obtain him the recovery of his health ; his sove- 
reign Lady appeared to him, accompanied by Saint Cecily 
and Saint Catherine, and said with the greatest sweetness, 

* 3Iy son, what dost thou desire of me ?* The religious 
was confosed at so gracious an oiFer on the part of Mary, 
and knew, not what to answer. Then one of the saints gave 
him this advice: Eeginald, I will tell thee what to do ; 
ask 'for nothing, but place thyself entirely in her hands, 
for Mary will know how to grant thee a greater grace 
than thou . canst possibly ask. The sick man followed 
this advice, and the Divine Mother obtained the re- 
establishment of his health. 

But if we ialso desire the happiness of receiving the 
visits of this Queen of heaven, we shotdd ofteri visit her 

• .T' 

1 Velocior esl notantaiqnam mHhs memor&to nomine ejus (Maritt) quam inv<Of 
cato nomine ^mnini Jesu.— D0 Bxeel. B. M. V. cap. vi. 
* MisenVontite Januafn a:perindbis benedietaDeipoira f tu enint es sithis ^eri; 


by going before ber image, or praying to ber in oburobes 
dedicated in her honour. Bead tbe follo^ving e^amplej 
in which you will see with what special favour* she re- 
wards the devout visits of her clients :-r- 



In the Franciscan chronicles it is related, that two reU<- 
gioua of that order, who were going to visit a sanctuary 
of the Blessed Virgin, were overtaken by night in a great 
forest, where they became so bewildered and troubled, 
that they knew not what to do. But, advancing a Uttle 
further, dark as it was, they thought they discovered 
a house. They went towards it, and felt the wall with 
their hands : they sought the door, knocked, and imme- 
diately heard some one within asking who they were? 
They replied that they were two poor religious who had 
lost their way in the forest, and that they begged, at 
least for shelter, that they might not be devoured by the 
wolves. In an instant the doors were thrown open, aijd 
two pages riehly dressed stood- before them, and received 
theni with the greatest courtesy. The religious asked 
them who resided in that palace P The pages replied that 
it was a most compassionate lady. We should be glad to 
present her our respects, and thank her for her charity. 
' She also,' the pages answered, * wishes to see you ; and 
we are now going to conduct you into her presence/ 
They ascended the staircase, and found all the apartments 
illuminated, richly furnished and scented with an odou^ 
of paradise. Knally, they entered the apartment of the 
Lady, who was majestic and most beautiful in her appear 
ance. She received them with the greatest aftabiUty, a^d, 
then asked them where they were going ? They answered 
thkt they were going to visit a certain church pf jthe 
Blessed Yirgin. * Oh, since that is the case,' she, replieaV 
* I Win '^ve you before you go a letter, whict^wjlt^l^^ y^" 
^teat service to you.' Whilst the Lady was addr^ssjng 
theih, they felt their hearts inflamed w;ith;th§jl6yj^oit>0^^^ 


and an internal joy which they had never before expe- 
rienced. They then retired to sleep, if, indeed, they 
could do so, overcome as they were by the happiness they 
experienced ; and in the morning they again went to take 
leave of the Lady and thank her, and also to receive the 
letter, which she gave them, and they then departed. But 
when they got a short distance from the house, they per- 
ceived that the letter had no direction ; they turned about, 
and sought first on one side, then on another, but in vain ; 
they could no longer find the house, Finally, they opened 
the letter to see for whom it was meant and whiat it con- 
tained ; and they found that it was from the most Blessed 
Virgin Mary, and addressed to themselves. In it she 
told them that she was the Lady whom they had seen the 
night before, and that on account of their devotion for 
her, she had provided a lodging and refreshment for them 
in that wood. She exhorted them to continue to serve 
and love her, for she always would amply reward their 
devotion, and would succour them in ifle and at death. 
At the foot of the page they read her signature ; * I, Mary 
the Virgin.' Let each one here imagine the gratitude of 
these good religious, and how they thanked the Divine 
Mother, and how greatly they were inflamed with the 
desire to love and serve her for their whole lives ! 


Immaculate and Blessed Virgin, since thou art the 
universal dispenser of all Divine graces, thou art the hope 
of all, and my hope. I will ever thank my Lord for hav- 
ing granted me the grace to know thee, and for having 
shown me the means by which I may obtain graces and 
be saved. Thou art this means, O Great Mother of 
God ; for I now understand that it is principally through 
the merits of Jesus Christ, and then through thy inter- 
cession that my soul must be saved. Ah, my Queen, thou 
didst hasten so greatly to visit, and by that means didst 
sanctify the dwelling of Saint Elizabeth ; deign then to 


visit, and visit quickly, tlie poor lionse of my soul. Alu 
liasten, then, for thou well knowest, and far better than I 
do, how poor it is, and with how nuiny maladies it 
is afflicted ; with disordered affections, evil habits, and 
sins conmiitted, all of which are pestiferous diseases, 
which would lead it to eternal death. Thou canst enrich 
it, O Treasurer of God ; and thou canst heal all its infir- 
mities. Yisit me then in life, and ^isit me especially at 
the moment of death, for then I shall more than ever 
require thy aid. I do not indeed expect, neither am I 
worthy that thou shouldst visit me on this earth with 
thy visible presence, as thou hast visited so many of thy 
servants ; but they were not unworthy and ungiateM as 
I am. I am satisfied to see thee in thy kingdom of 
heaven, there to be able to love thee more, and thank 
thee for aU that thou hast done for me. At present I am 
satisfied that thou shouldst visit me with thy mercy ; thy 
prayers are all that I desire. 

Pray then, O Mary, for me, and commend me to thy 
Son. Thou, far better than I do, knowest my miseries 
and my wants. What more can I say ? Pity me ; I am 
so miserable and ignorant, that I neither know nor can I 
seek for the graces that I stand the most in need of. My 
most sweet Queen and Mother, do thou seek and obtain 
for me from thy Son, those graces which thou knowest to 
be the most expedient and necessary for my soul. I 
abandon myself entirely into thy hands, and only beg the 
Divine Majesty, that by the merits of my Saviour Jesus, 
He will grant me the graces which thou askest Him for me. 
Ask, ask then, O most Holy Virgin, that which thou seest 
is best for me ; thy prayers are never rejected ; they are 
the prayers of a Mother addressed to a Son, who loves 
thee His Mother so much, and rejoices in doing all that 
thou deslrest, that He may honour thee moie, and at the 
same time show thee the great love He bears thee. Let 
us make an agreement O Lady, that while I live con- 
fiding in thee, thou on thy part wilt charge thyself with 
my salvation. Amen. 



The great Sacr^ce wJikJt Mary made on this daiy to Qod, 
in offering Him the Ijfe qf her Son, 

rr the old law there were two precepts concerning the 
birth of first-born sons : one was, that the mother 
Shotild remain as unclean, retired in her house for foii;y 
days ; after which she was ta go to purify herself in tile 
temple. The other was, that the parents of the first-bom 
soti should take him to the temple, and there ofi^er him to 
Crod. On this day, the most Blessed Yirgin obeyed both 
these precepts. Although Mary was not bound by the 
law of purification, since she was always a Yirgin and 
always pure ; yet her humility and obedience made her 
wish to go like other mothers to purify herself. She at 
the same time obeyed the second precept, to present and 
offer her Son to the Eternal Father. " And after the days 
of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were 
accomplished, they carried Him to Jerusalem to present 
Him to the Lord." ^ But the blessed Virgin did not offer 
Him as other mothers offered their sons. Others offered 
them to God; but they knew that this oblation was 
simply a legal ceremony, and that by redeeming them 
they made them their own, without fear of having again 
to offer them to death. Mary really offered her Son to 
death, and knew for certain that the sacrifice of the life of 
Jesus which she then made, was one da^ to be actually 
fconsiunmated on the altar of the cross ; so that Mary, by 
offering the life of her Son, came, in consequence of the 
love she bore this Son, really to sacrifice her own entire 
self to God. Leaving then aside all other considerations 

^ £t postquam impleti sunt dies pmgationis c^tu secnndtim legem Moysi, 
In^cmni ilium in Jerusalem, nt sisterent enm Domino.— £wc. ii, 33. 

i^ ir)^h<we m^y^ «nt<r oa ike. naiqr s^starier oC tMs 
fi()stiii^» itf9 wiU 0Toikf ewwidfir llie gnaiiuiBof tisMicnfice 
whick.Miry made of hersdf to God in. offering fiim on 
thi# 4^y t^ life of hev Son. And this will be UwniNfe 
subject of ihe foBoirkig diacourse. 
. The. JstemA Faiher had abcadty detanvined to aaire 
man, who was lo$t by nn, and to ddiiver him from eftcAid 
^ death* But because He wflled at ihe same time that His 
Divine jnstiee should not hedefrandad ofavorthy and 
due satisCactioB, He spaced not the life of His 8am aliaadhf 
beeome man to ledeem man, bat willed ti^ He ^oohl 
pay with the utmost xigonr the penalty wluch they had 
dMerved. '' He that iqpaied not eTen His ofwn Son, but 
detivered Him up for us all." ^ He sent Him^ therefoBe, 
on earth to become man. He destined Him a mother^ 
and willed that this mother should be the Blessed Vizgis 
Mary. But as He willed not that His IKvine Word sboidd 
beeome her Son» before she by an express eonsent had 
accepted Him ; so also He willed not that Jesus should 
sacrifice His life for the salvation of men, without lihe 'eon^ 
current assent of Mary ; that, together with the sacrifice 
of the life of toe Son, the Mother's heart might also be 
sacrificed. Saint Thomas teaches, that tlie quality of 
mother gives her a special right over her children; lienoe 
Jesus b^ag in Himsdf innocent and undeserving of punish* 
menti it seemed fitting that He should not be eondemned 
to the cross as a victim for the sins oi the worid, without 
the consent of His mother, by whidi she should spon-^ 
taoeottsly offer Him to death. 

, But^ although from the moment she became the Mother 
of Jesus, Maxy consented to His death, yet God willed 
that on this day she should make a solenm sacrifioei of 
herself, by offering her Son to Him in the temple; 
sacrificing His precious life to Divine justice. Hence 
Saint Epiphanius calls her ' a priest.' ^ And now 

1 (^ui rti&m ^oprio Tillo «uo nou pepcrcit, s«J pro nfAtii ammhtk* im^H'A 
- Virijineni uppello vpUit sacenlotem. t 

siibsArilkei); the* senteaoe by MrltKli>*lidr M<Mr^d<le^9'wajS 
omtemndd.ta^deakh. Bdiold Mary^is eitiitnt&f mi iiilH^ 
road to Jerusalem to offer her 86ti.} «ke fcastens hetsrte^ 
loiwftrdi like fifeoe of sMnfice^ 4»d she h^!«6tf beara the 
llMtoycil..icid;iia ill' ]ii» aniM* Bke eaters tile teuxptoj 
aMffoaffiheai.the altar^ «iid th^re,- beaimng yfiik modesty, 
de^tion^ 8D«L huidiiiity, preseirts h^ Son to the Most 
Hig^ la- the jaeantime^^ the Holy Simeoii, who had r^ 
eeiveda^ptoiaiBe fipoan God, that he should not die without 
having first aeea iha expected Messiah, takes the Divine 
chikl Hcorn the hands of the Blessed Vii^, and, eidight- 
emd, hy tha Holy Ghost, announces to h^ how much the 
saenfioa whieh she then made of her Son woidd cost her, 
and that- with Him her own blessed soul would also 
be. aacoficed. Heire St. Thomas of Yillanova contem- 
plates the holy old man beomning troubled and sileirt 
at ihe'thought of having to give utteranee to a prophecy, 
so latal to thia poor mother. The saint then considers 
Mary« who aska him : 'Why, Simeon, ait thou thus 
trouhlfid in the midst of such great consolalionsP' ' O Boyal 
ITirgk^' he replies, 'I w«uld desire not to announce thee 
auoh . better. ticonga; but sinee God tiius wills it for thy 
grsaiter,]iie|sit» Hs&nto what I have to say. ^ This child, 
ivhiohJb now a aouree of sueh joy to thee ; and, oh, God i 
wiibh'how mwAi reason; this child I say will one day be a 
sQ^ijae q£ Attch bitter grief to thee, that no ereMure in the 
world has ever experienced Ihe like; and this will be when 
thon seest Him.peirseouted by men of every elaes, and made 
a^lyattiiipDn; .mrth for their scoffs and outages; they 
lirilbettea^ «o. iarras to put Him to death as a malefoetor 
ba^nethme onm eyes. * Thc^ so greatly rejoienst in' thi4 

V .1 *rl • ' : . • . • 

.V h ^ndfeM tantA toiMit^!: ... Viif^ regi&t , . . N«Dan «M ii^ mLt^Oft"', 
scd audi : Kinunm nunc pro isto infante leetariB, et merito letaria . . . £Cce 
emm . . . positus est hie Inians in ngnum cui eontradicetnr a ninUi» ... quot 
ti^UUn TicRninum proiirto Pne)r<r luimmiinur, jti^nfobnnturl . . fitlil omne^fjs^ti- 
antnr iu corpoire, tu Virgo amplius in animn paticvig. — Tn Irito Purife. B. ^.' T. 
Cone. i. 



iB&nt ; bttt b^oid He is plaeed for a sign wMoh shall be 
coBtradicied. Know that after His death fiiere will be many 
martyn, who, for the loYe oi this Son oi thine, will be tor^ 
Biented and pat to death ; their martyrdom, howerer, wiU 
be endured in their bodies, but thine, O Divine Mother, 
win be endured in thy heart. O, how many thousands 
of men will be torn to pieces and pnt to death for ibe love 
of this child ; and althoogh they will all suffer mneh in thear 
bodies, thou, O Virgin, wilt sc^er much more in thy heart/ 
Yes» in her heart ; for compassion alone for the suffer- 
iogs of this moat belored Son, was the sword of sorrow 
which was to pierce the heart <^ the Mother, as Saint 
Simeon exaetly foretold : *' And thy own sonl a sword 
shall piorce." ^ Already the most Blessed Virgin, as Saint 
Jerome says, was enlightened by the Sacred Scriptures, 
and knew the sufferings that the Bedeemer was to endure 
in His life, and still more at the time ot His death. She 
IttUy understood from the Prophets, that He was to be 
betrayed by one of His disciples : " For even the man of 
my peace, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, hath 
greatly supplanted me."^ As David foretold: that He 
was to be abandoned by them : ^' Strike the shepherd, 
and the sheep shall be scattered."^ She well knew the 
oontempt, the spHting, the blows, the derisions, He was 
to suffer from the people : "I have given my body to the 
strikers, and my <^eks to them that plucked them : I 
have not turned away my face from them that rebuked 
me, and spit upon me."^ She knew that He was to be- 
come the reproach of men, and the oiitcast of the most 
degraded of the people, so as to be saturated with insults 
and injuries: *'But I am a worm and no man: the reproach 
of men, and the outcast of the people."* *• He shall be 
fiUbd with reproaches."* She knew, that at the end o' 

^ £t tnam ipsins animam pertransibit gladlus. — Luc. ii, 86. 

* Qui edem panes meos, magnificavit ivper me 8apjpiantaiiMiein.->-P<r. xl, 10. 

* rercute pastorem, et dispergeiitiir oves. — Zach. xxa, 7. 

* Corpus meum dedi percutientibns, et eenaa meas velleatibufl: faciem meam 
turn averti ab incTepantibas, et conspuentibuB in me.— /«. 1, 6. 

* £go antem sum yenaii, et non bomor opprobrium hominuai, et A\^eiao 
plebis. — Ps. xxi, 7. 

* Dabit p(r(nitienti se maxillam, saturabitur oppTobrii8.-->2%ren. iii, SO 


Hifl life, His mdst Sacred flesh would be torn and mangM 
by scourges : '^ But Ue was wotmded for our iniquities '; 
He was bruised fot our sins.'' ^ And this to snch a degree, 
thai Uis whole body was to be disiignTed, and become 
like that of a leper, all wounds, and the bones appearing.* 
'^ There is no beauty in Him, nor comdiness . . . and we 
h«ve thought Him, as it were, a lep^."^ "They have 
mumbered ail my booes.''^ ^he knew that He was to be 
pierced by nails : ** They hare dug my hands and feet."^ 
To be ranked with malefactors : " And was reputed with 
the wieked." ^ And that, finaily, hanging on a crosd, He 
Uras to die for the salvation of men i '' And they shall look 
upon me, whom they have pierced."^ 

Mary, I say, already knew att these torments whieh her 
Son was to endure ; but) in the words addressed to her 
"by Simeon, ** And thy own soul a sword shall pierce," 
aU the minute cireumstances of the sufPermgs, internal 
and external, whioh were to torment her Jesus in His 
Passion, were made biQwn to her, as our Lord revealed 
to Saint Teresa. She consented to all with a constancy 
which Med even the angels with astonishment } she pro- 
nounced the sentence, that her Son should die, and die by 
to ignominious and painful a death, saying: 'Eternal 
Father, since Thou wiliest that it should be so, '* not my 
will, but Thine be done ;" 7 I unite my will to Thy most holy 
Willi Bud I sacrifice this my Son to Thee. I am satisfied 
that He should lose His life for Thy gloiy, and the salva- 
tion of the world. At the same time I sacrifice my heart 
to Thecj that it may be transpieroed with sorrow, and this 
as much as Thou pkasest : it sufiices me, my God, tliat 
Thou art glorified, and satisfied with my ofl'ering : " Not 
my will, but Thine be done." ' O charity without mea- 

^ Ipse autem vnlneratnii eirt; jrropier iniqaitates uostiu, atttitns est x»ropter 
SMlera no8tra.^ii. liii, 5. 

* Non est species ei, neque decor et nos putavimus eum quasi leprosum.— 

It. m, 2, 4. 

* Dinumeravcrunt omnia ossa mea. — Ps. xx\, 18. 

* Foderunt manns meas et pedes mcos.— 7A. 17. 
(^ £t cum Bceleratis reputatus est. — /r. liii, 12. 

* Et aspicient ad me quern confixerunt. — Zach. xii, 10. 
7 Non m«a volimtas, B€d toa flat.— i^. xzii, 49. 


sure ! O coustancy without parallel ! O victory which 
deserves the eternal admiration of heaven and earth ! 

Hence it was, that Mary was silent during the FassioB 
of Jesus, when He was unjustly accused ; she said nothing 
to PilatCj who was somewhat inclined to set Him at liberty, 
knowing, as he did, His innocence ; she only appeared in 
public, to assist at the great sacrifice, which was to be 
accomplished on Calvary: she accompanied her beloved 
Son to the place of execution ; she was with Him fix>m 
the first moment, when He was nailed on the cross : ''There 
stood by the cross of Jesus, His Mother/'^ until she saw 
Him expire, and the sacrifice was consummated. And aU 
this she did, to complete the offering which she had- made 
of Him to God in the Temple. 

To understand the violence which Mary had to offer her- 
self in this sacrifice, it would be necessary to understand 
the love that this Mother bore to Jesus. Generally speak- 
ing, the love of Mothers is so tender towards their children, 
that, when these are at the point of death, and there is 
fear of losing them, it causes them to foi^et all their faults 
and defects, and even the injuries they may have received 
from them, and makes them suffer an inexpressible grief. 
And yet, the love of these Mothers is a love divided 
amongst other children, or at least amongst other creatures. 
Mary had an only Son, and He was the most beautiful of all 
the Sons of Adam : most amiable, for He had every thing to 
make Him so ; He was obedient, virtuous, innocent, holy ; 
suffice it to say, He was God. Again, this Miother's love was 
not divided amongst other objects ; she had concentrated 
all her love in this only Son ; nor did she fear to exceed 
in loving Him ; for this Son was God, who merits infinite 
love. This Son it was, who was the victim which she of 
her own free will had to sacrifice to death. 

Let each one, then, consider how much it must have 
cost Mary, and what strength of mind she had to exercise 
in this act, by which she sacrificed the life of so amiable a 
Son to the cross. Behold, therefore, the most fortunate 

1 Sta))ant auteni jnxta cniccm Jesn Mater ejus, Sec. — Joan, xix, 25, 

6t Mbihet^, 'bedmise the M6thei' lof a God ; Mt Wli6 was;' iii 
the satoe tM6; of AH tnothets, the hiOst W6rthy 6f tfetSja^i 
i^oTi, bfeing the most afflicted,- inasmuch -as 'she '^iiw W 
Sou destined to the cross, from thfe day on wMch 'H'e W^ 
given to het. What mother wonld kccept of h ehild, knbW^ 
Ing that she Vould afterwards miserably lose hikl' By ad 
ignbminious death, and that moreover she herself #Oiild 
be pte^eiit and see him thus die ? Mary wilKngly accepts 
thi^ Son on so hard a condition, and not only does she 
accept Him, but she herself, on this day, offers Him, with 
her own hand, tb death, sacrificing Him to Divine Jus- 
tice. Saint Bbnaventure Says, that the Blessed VirgiA 
would have accepted the pains and death of her Son faf 
more willingly for herself, but, to obey God, she nladie the 
great offering of the Divine' life of her beloved Jesus ; con- 
quering, but' with an excess of grief, the tender love 
which she bote Him. * Cbtild it have been so, she would 
Willingly have eiidured all the torments of Her Son; 
but it pleased God that His only-begotten Son should b6 
offered for the salvation of the human rafce.'^ Hence it is 
that, in this offering, Mary had to do hetself more violence, 
and was more generous, than if she had offered herself to 
suffer dll that her Son was to endure. Therefore she sur- 
passed aH the Martyrs in generbsity i fbr the Martyrs offered 
ttieur own lives, but the Blessed Virgin offered the life of 
her Son, whom she loved and esteemed infinitely ihore 
than her own life. 

' !Nor did the sufferings of this pAinftll offering erid here * 
ii'dy, eVen; they only l^gan ; for, from that time fofw^atd; 
dtiirirtg the whole life of her Son, Mary had constantly before 
her eyfes' the death, and all the tormehts which He wa« t© 
^dttre. ' Hence, the moi^e this Son showed Himsilf beaui- 
tiful, gracious, aUd amiable, the more did the aingttish of 
het^heairt' increase. Ah, most Sorrowful Mother, hddst 
thb|ii Med thy Son less^ or had He been less aijaiable, or 

^ Et in hoc niiro modo debet landari et amari, /^ucjd placuit ei, quod tJnigfetiitus 
mii'pUlitihxU-genam humaui offeonretnr. Xttaotum etiam combasea estvitfc 
fieri potiiisset, omnia tormenta c^ug^ Filius pertulit, ipsa multo libenti^s sas- 
tinaisset.— Xfi. i, Sent. IHst. xlnii, art S, q. % cimcl. 

29 § 

badrliei^otedit^ed less^ tby suffisriogs^ in ofibi'ingi'Huki t» 
deaib, would ceitaialy have been diminished^^DBndrer 
wa«, andthcire neverwill bei,a m^h^who b^d h€lr soa mote 
tbaB tthbu didst love thiae ; foi* there nev^* wa^, and Mt&fev 
will be, a $qii more amiabLe, or one who.loved his mother 
mare than thy Jesus loved thtee. Oh God ! had we beheld 
the beauty, the majesty, of the count^ance of that DiviBa 
Child, could we hare ever had coura^ to saeriiice His: life 
for our salvation ? And thou, Q Mary, who wast His MotJju^, 
aud a Mother loving Him with. so tender, a love^ thoU 
couldst oifer thy ininoceiit Son, for the salvation of Inenj to 
a death more painful and cruel than ever wias endured by 
the greatest malefactor on earth ! 

Ah, how sad a. scene horn that day forward must love 
have continually placed before the eyes of Maiyy a scene 
representing all the outrages and mockeries whiekherpoor 
Son was to endure 1 See, love already represents Him 
agonized with sorrow in the garden, mangled with scourges, 
crowned with thorns in the psraetorium, and finally hanging 
on the ignominious cross on Calvary. * Behold O Motlier ' 
says love, 'what an amiable and innocent Son thou offerest 
to so many torments, and to so horrible a death !* And to 
what purpose save Him from the hands of Herod, since 
it is only to reserve Him for a far more sorrowM end ? 

Thus Mary not only offered her Son to death in the 
temple, but she renewed that offering every moment of her 
life; for she revealed to Saint Bridget 'that the sorrow an- 
nounced to her by the holy Simeon never left her heart until 
her assumption into heaven.' ^ Hence Saint Aiisehn thus 
addresses her: *0 compassionate Lady, I cannot believe that 
thou couldst have endured for a moment, sq e.^ruciating 
a torment, without expiring under it, had not God Him$e}f, 
the Spirit of Life, sustained thee*' ^ But Saint BemarA af- 
firms, speaking of the great sorrow which Mai-y exiieti^C^if 

* r 

• I 

^ JktVatAtkt^viaqrxe dum assmiai^ta fin coi^ore, elt ammaiiLocebiiD^ n«n^t«nn 

dcfuit a corde meo. — 5«p. lib. vi, cap. 57- ' ' • i .i]»c. ■ 

- * Fia cDomma, nmi credaderBB tc {lotiiiBse ttUo ' pacto^ lAiTuittlas tonti' ccnaklliis, 

5 Ilia vitam amittefes- SHfrtinei'e^, nkt ipse Bpiiitns ritK « . . -fd ciNKfoitatlret.<^l^ 
7xcel. V. Ciip.r. . ' • j' -> <• ■ 

Oil iMk' cby^ t^t front timt ' time^iforward ^Shl^ died 'Hliribg^l 
enduring' a sorrow more cruel than death. '^ ■ In cver^' 
nKnaaeat she lived dyin^, for ka every ixumient dfaew«» 
asadtked by the sorrow of the deatin of htsr beloved Jesuci^ 
whieh ^vaB.a torment more cruel than amy deaths. 
' Hence the Divine Mother, on account of the great merit 
siie aaqtdiied by this great sacrifice which she made tcr 
God for the salvation of the ivorld, was justly called by 
Saint lAugnstine, 'The Hepatrer of the human race.'^ 
By Saint Epiphaniu^, * The Redeemer of captives.' ^ By 
Saint Ansdbsiy *The Repairer of a lost world.'* By 
Saint Germanus, ' Our Liberator from our calamities.'^ 
By Saint Ambrose, * The Mother of all the faithful.' « By 
Saint Angustine, *The Mother of the living. '7 And by 
Saint Andrew of (>ete, 'The Mother of life.'« For Arnold 
of Ohariies Bays, * The wills of Christ and of Mary were 
then united, so that both oifered ike same holocaust ; she 
thereby producing with Him the one effect, the salvation 
of the world.' ^ At the death of Jesus, Mary united her 
\^411 to that of her Sou ; so much so that both offered one 
and the same sacrifice ; and therefore the holy Abbot says 
that both the Son and the Mother effected human redemp- 
tion, and obtained salvation for men ; Jesus by satisfying for 
our sins, Mary by obtaining the application of this satis- 
faction to us. Hence Denis the Carthusian also asserts, 
' that the Divine Mother can be called the Saviour of the 
world, since by the pain she endured in commiserating 
Eer Son (willingly sacrificed by her to Divine Justice), she 

*' Qustfi txioiftua vltcM vivcbat luoriens, moriebatur viven« ; new raori potefrat 
m^ virenfl ^iwtua erat. In UUus iamina d(do; saevo Moviebat. — Tr. Ae £tnnmt. 
B. M. r. 

* BfipamtHx generis hnmaui. t 

s JCoacmtrix captiyoruni. t 

■* Keparatrix perditi orbis. — JH Sxcel. V. cap. uc. 

^ JAcimftipDrinn lapsu* pf imorum parentnm &evooatio; lapsi generis iti rectunk 
B|;f^tom,rwiti]tu^o.— /;»tZ>« Mat. Nat, 

•' WBUkt onilittiiA cy^deiititnii. t 

7 Mater viventium. + 
•'^il^'iniinij gfato annmaiSeciv «odstn)ta» Mafoa. omniB vitn'Mairemglori- 
ficans praedicat. — In Dortnit. S. M. iii. 

^^^^■naotanc-ient-DdHiGlDkti et]kfagn»^iintaB,iift«Qiqn0liDl0€8iirttira anibo 
palriter offitielnat Beo : hao m aBngoine^vrdis^ Hie in aangioBe vamit . . . com 
Christo coinmuncni in galntc mnndi cffrctum obtiniiit.— 7)<r Lovd. li. M. F. 

344 pimmcATioN of ^aiby. 

liieriied that tkroilgli her prayers the merits 6f the PafesioA 
of the Eedeemer should be communicated" to men/^ ' 

HtlsLvy theii hanng, by the merit of lier son'ows, an4 
by sacrificing her Son, become the Mothei* of all the 
redeemed, it is right to believe that through her hands 
jbirine graces, and the means to obtain eternal life, which 
are the fruits of the merits of Jesus Christ, are given to 
men. To this it is that Saint Bernard alludes when he 
says, 'that when God was about to redeem the human 
race, He deposited the whole price in Mary's hands ;** by 
which Words the Saint gives us to understand, that the 
merits of the Eedeemer are applied to out souls by the 
intercession of the Blessed Virgin ; for all graces, which 
are the fruits of Jesus Christ, were comprised in that 
price of which she had charge. 

If the sacrifice of Abraham by which he offered his son 
Isaac to God was so pleasing to the Divine Majesty, that as 
a reward He promised to multiply his descendants fis thfe 
stars of heaven "Because thou hast don^this thing, and haSt 
not spared thy only -begotten son for my Sake I will bless 
thee, and I ^viU multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven :'*' 
we must certainly believe that the more noble sacrifice 
which the great Mother of God made to Him of her Jesus, 
was far more agreeable to Him ; and therefore, that He 
has granted, that through her prayers the number of the 
elect should be multiplied ; that is to say, increased by 
the number of her fortunate children ; for she considers 
and protects all her devout clients as such. 

Saint Simeon received a promise from God, that he 
should not die until he had seen the Messiah borrl: '^Aijid 
he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, thalJ He 
'Should not see death before he had seen the Ghrierlef l^e 

} Aihantissfma Dei Virgo Christifera, dici potest ttranfli salratrix' pit^reer 

• eiiineotiam, Tirtaositatem^ et nieritam suce compassimiw, qwApatwiUi fig^I^^te- 

lissime ac acerbiasime condolendo, excellenter promeruit, ut jter ipsam, hoc est, 

.MIX fv^c^ <9Wl-59 QMsrita, viftoa ac nentam paaaioou Gmati ;com)&iu|icetDr 

nommiDUB.— Dtf Latid. B. M. T. lib. ii, art. 33. r , ,.,. ^'^^ 

* Redemptunu humaiuuii gentts, pretium uoivBisiuii M«mii.— 

' Quia lecisii banc rem, et non pepercisti Alio tuo unigenito propt^s me : i^aa^ 
dicam tibi, et multiplicabo semen tuum sicnt stelkui am.— Gen. xxii, 16, 17* 


Lord.'* ^ But this grace he only received through Mary, 
for it was in her arms that he found the Saviour. Hence, 
he who desires to find Jesus, will not find Him otherwise 
than by Mary. Let us then go to this Divine Mother, if we 
wish to find Jesus, and let us go with great confidence. Mary 
. told her servant Prudenziana Zagnoni that, every year, on 
this day of her purification, a great grace would be bestowed 
upon some sinner. Who knows but one of us may be the 
favoured sinner of this day ? If our sins are great, the power 
of Mary is greater. * The Son can deny nothing to such a 
Mother,' says Saint Bernard.^ If Jesus is irritated against 
us, Mary immediately appeases Him. Plutarch relates, 
that Antipater wrote a long letter to Alexander the Great, 
fiUied with accusations against his mother Olympia. Having 
read the letter Alexander said, 'Antipater' does not know 
that a single tear of my mother suffices to cancel six 
hundred letters of accusation.'^ We also may imagine, 
that Jesus thus answers the accusations presented against 
us by the devil, when Mary prays for us : * Does not 
Lucifer know that a prayer of my Mother in favour of 
a sinner suffices to make me forget all accusations of 
offences committed against me ?' The following example 
is a proof of this. 


This example is not recorded in any book, but was told 
me by a priest, a friend of mine, as having happened to 
himself. This priest was hearing confessions in a church 
(to compromise no one I do not mention the name of the 
place, though the penitent gave him leave to publish the 
fact), when a young man stood before him, who seemed 
to wish, but at the same time to fear to go to confession. 
The Father, after looking at him several times, at length 
called him, and asked him if he wished to confess. He 

1 £t responstim acceperat a S^iritu Sancto, non ^isurnm se mortem, nisi prias 
rideret Christum Domini.— Xvc. ii, 26. 

* Exaudiet ntiqne Matrem Filius. — Serui. de Aqnttd. 

* Ignorare Antipatrura scxcentiis epistolas una deleri matris lacrvmnln. — 
Tfni. in AUx. 


jeplied that he did; bat as his oonfessuHi was likely to be 
very long, he begged to be taken to a priyaie room. The 
penitent there began by saying, that he was a foreigner, 
and of noble birth, but who had led such a life that he did 
not belieTe it possible that God would pardon him. Besides 
the other innumerable shameful crimes and mmnders he 
had committed, he said, that having entiiely despaired of 
salvation, he committed sins, no longer from inclination, but 
expressly to outrage God, out of the hatred he bore Him. 
He said, amongst other things, that he wore a crucifix, and 
that he beat it out of disrespect, and that, that very 
morning, only a short time before, he had communicated 
sacrilegiously, and for what purpose? It was, that he 
might trample the sacred particle under his feet. And he 
had indeed already reeeived it, and had only been pve«> 
Tented from executing his horrible design by the people 
who would have seen him. He then consigned the sacred 
particle in a piece of paper to the confessor. Having done 
this, he said, that, passing before the church he had felt 
himself strongly impelled to enter it ; that unable to resist, 
he had done so. After entering, he was seized with great 
remorse of conscience, and at the same time a sort of 
confused and irresolute desire to confess his siil^; and 
hence the reason for which he stood before the confessional ; 
but while standing there, his confusion and diflS deuce were 
so great, that he endeavoured to go away, but it seemed 
to him as if some one held him there by force. * In the 
mean time/ he said, * Father, you called me, and now I 
am here making my confession, and I know not how,' 
The Father then asked him if he ever practised any devo- 
tion during the time, meaning towards the Blessed Virgin ; 
for such conversions only come through the powerful hands 
of Mary. * None Father, — devotions, indeed ! I looked on 
myself as damned.' * But reflect again,' said the Father. 
* Father I did nothing,' he repeated. But putting his hand 
to his breast to uncover it, he remembered that he wore 
the scapular of Mary's dolours. *Ah, my son,' said the 
confessor ; * dost thou not see it is our Blessed I^idy who 


has obtained thee so extraordinary a grace ? And know/ 
lie added, ' that to her this church is dedicated.' On hear- 
ing this the yonng man was moved, and began to grieve, 
and at the same time to weep ; then, continuing the con- 
fession of his sins, his compunction increased to such 
a degree, that with a loud sob he fell fainting at the 
Father's feet. When he had been restored to conscious- 
ness, he finished his confession, and the Father with the 
greatest consolation absolved him, and sent him back to 
his own country entirely contrite, and resolved to change 
his life, having his full permission to preach, and publish 
everywhere the great mercy that Mary had shown him. 


Holy Mother of God, and my Mother Marj'', thou 
Hast 80 deeply interested in my salvation, as to oifer to 
death the dearest object of thy heart, thy beloved Jesus ! 
Since, then, thou didst so much desire to see me saved, it 
is right that after God, I should place all my hopes in 
tihee. O yes, most Blessed Virgin, I do indeed entirely 
confide in thee. Ah, by the merit of the great sacrifice 
which thou didst offer this day to God, the sacrifice of the 

' life of thy Son, entreat Him to have pity on my poor soul, 
for which this Immacolate Lamb did not refdse to die on 
the cross. 

1 could desire, O my Queen, to offer my poor heart to 
God on this day, in imitation of thee ; but I fear that, 
seeing it so sordid and loathsome. He may refuse it. But 
if thou offerest it to Him, He will not reject it. He 
always is pleased with, and accepts the offerings pre- 
sented to Him by your most pure hands. To thee, then, 
O Mary, do I this day present myself, miserable as I am : 
to thee do I give myself without reserve. Do thou offer 
me as thy servant, together with Jesus, to the Eternal 
Pather, and beseech mm, by the merits of thy Son, and 
for thy sake, to accept me, and take me as His own. Ah» 
my sweetest Mother, for the love of thy sacrificed Son, 


help me always, and at all times, and abandon me not. 
Never permit me to lose by my sins this most amiable 
Redeemer, whom on this day thou didst offer with such 
bitter grief, to the cruel death of the cross. Remind Him 
that I am thy ser\'ant, that in thee I have placed all my 
hope ; say, in fine, that thou wiliest my salvation, and He 
will certainly graciously hear thee. 



On this day the Church celebrates, in honour of Mary, two 
solemn festivals ; the first is thai of her happy passage 
from this world ; the second-, that of her glorious Assump- 
tion into Hea^9en, 

IN the present discourse we shall speak of her happy 
passage from this world, and in the next of her glori- 
ous Assumption. 

How precious was the death of Mary 1 

1. On account of the special graces that attended it. 

2. On account of the manner in which it took place. 

Death being the punishment of sin, it would seem that 
the Divine Mother, fdl holy, and exempt as she was from its 
slightest stain, should also have been exempt from death, 
and from encountering the misfortunes to whichthe children 
of Adam, infected by the poison of sin, are subject. But 
(lod was pleased that Mary should, in all things, resemble 
Jesus; and as the Son died, it was becoming that the 
A [other should also die ; because, moreover. He wished to 
iiive the just an example of the precious death prepared for 
them. He willed that even the most Blessed Vir^n should 
die, but by a sweet and happy dccith. Let us, therefore. 

AB^yMPTZOH^ op.¥4itr^ 349 

9^a;q}iuti of^tb^ s{]ecdal faFour^ by wbich iitt wa^' fiftmwmmwL 
SecQiid, Qn,3pcouui of the manner in. which ii^took'-pl&o^ 
, Mnt£o'a^. — ^There are three thisigs. which reader <iarth 
bitter: rattochn^nt to the world, reB(hoxaex)£ sin, add-thie 
uncertainty .of aalvatiosu The dpath of Mtffy waa. entirely 
free from these causes of bitt^iness, and was aoooimpenied 
by three special graces, which rendered it precious and 
joyful. She died as she had lived, entirely detached from 
the things of the world; she died in the most perfect 
peace ; she died in. the certainty of eternal glory. 

And in the first place, there can be no doubt that attach- 
ment to earthly things renders the death of the worldly 
bitter and nuserable, as the Holy Ghost says : " death, 
how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man that hath 
peace in his possessions !"^ Sui because the Saints die 
detached from the things of the world, their death is not 
bitter, but sweet, lovely^ and precious ; that is to say, as 
Saint Bernard remarks, worth purchasing at any price, 
however great. " Blessed are the dead who die in the 
Lord."^ Who are they who, being already dead, die? 
They are those happy souls who pass into eternity already 
detached, and so to say dead to all affection for terrestrial 
things ; and who, like Saint Trancis of Assisium, found in 
God alone all their happiness, and with Him could say, 
*^fy God and my all.'^ But what soul was ever 
more detached from earthly goods, and more united to 
God .than the beautifiil soul of Mary P She was detached 
firom her pazei^s ; for at the age of three years, when 
children are most attached to them, and stand mthe great- 
^ need of their assistanoe, Mary, with the greatest intre- 
pi^ty, left them, and went to shut herself up in the temple, 
^Cb^ alone. She was detach^ from riches^ 
^ptfi;4^$ hefself to live always poor, and sup^^Ptiughef' 
^f l&'WUb/th^i lahoiNS fiif her own hands. &he -whs tie^lYed 

t O^nitMiffittni w&aM est tneajoria tta hominf pacera haVnti ih swbslantiis 

^Vf^zr^'f^hA^-' \^ " t ■ .jj. I . ... • 

^ Bfeati inortiii qu^ P9mino pioriuntur .—^jyor, xiv, 13, i ■ . 



firom honours, loving an humble and abject life, though 
the honours due to a queen were hers, as she was descended 
from the kings of Israel. The Blessed Virgin herself 
revealed to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, that when her 
parents left her in the temple, she resolved in her heart 
to have no father, and to love no other good than God. 

Saint John saw Mary represented in that woman, clothed 
vith the sun, who held the moon under her feet. " And 
a great sign appeared in heaven : a woman clothed with 
the sun, and the moon under her feet."^ Interpreters 
explain the moon to signify the goods of this world, which, 
like her, are uncertain and changeable. Mary never had 
these goods in her heart, but always despised them, and 
trampled them under her feet ; living in this world as a 
solitary turtle-dove in a desert, never allowing her affec- 
tion to centre itself on any earthly thing ; so that of her it 
was said : " The voice of the turtle is heard in our land."* 
And elsewhere : " Who is she that goeth up by the 
desert?" 3 Whence the Abbot Kupert says, * Thus didst 
thou go up by the desert, that is, having a solitary soul.'* 
Mary then, having lived always and in all things detached 
from the earth, and united to God alone, death was not 
bitter, but, on the contrary, very sweet and dear to her ; 
since it united her more closely to Gt)d in heaven, by an 
eternal bond. 

Secondly. — ^Peace of mind renders the death of the just 
precious. Sins committed during life are the worms which 
so cruelly torment and gnaw the hearts of poor dying 
sinners, who, about to appear before the Divine tribunal, 
see themselves at that moment surrounded by their sing, 
which terrify them, and cry out, according to Saint 
Bernard, * We are thy works, we will not abandon thee.'^ 
Mary certainly could not be tormented at death by any 

^ £t Bignum magnum appandt m caelo : H vlier amicta wde, et lona tab pedflnii 
qua. — Apoc. xii, 1. 
s Vox turturis audita eit in terra nostra. — CtaU. ii, 12. 

* Qnee est lata quse ascendit per desertum, tK.—Cant. iii, 6. 

« Talis ascendisti per desertum, idest, animam habens Talde to1itariam.~X»&. 
m »n Cant. cap. in. 

* Opera toa somiiB non te deseremns. 


lemorse of conscience, for she was always pure, and always 
free from the least shade of actual or original sin, so much 
so, that of her it was said : " Thou art all fair, O my love, 
and there is not a spot in thee."^ From the moment 
that she had the use of reason, that is, from the hrst 
moment of her Immaculate Conception, in the womb of 
Saint Anne, she began to love God with all her strength, 
and continued to do so, always advancing more and more, 
throughout her whole life, in love and perfection. All her 
thoughts, desires, and affections were of and for God 
alone : she never uttered a word, made a movement, cast 
a glance, or breathed, but for God and His glory ; and 
never departed a step, or detached herself for a single 
moment, from the Divine love. Ah, how did all the loyely 
virtues she had practised dming life, surround her blessed 
bed in the happy hour of her des^h ! That faith so constant; 
that loving confidence in God; that imconquerable patience 
in the midst of so many sufferings ; that humility in the 
midst of so manypi^iyileges; that modesty ; that meekness; 
that tender compassion for souls ; that insatiable zeal for 
the glory of Gt)d ; and, above aU, that most perfect love 
towards Him, with that entire uniformity to the Divine 
will : all, in a word, surrounded her, and consoling her 
said: *We are thy works, we will not abandon thee.' 
Our Lady and Mother, we are all daughters of thy beauti- 
ful heart ; now that thou art leaving this miserable life 
we will not leave thee, we also will go, and be thy eternal 
accompaniment and honour in Paradise, where, by our 
means, thou wilt reign as Queen of all men, and of all 

In the third place, the certainty of eternal salvation 
renders death sweet. Death is called a passage ; for by 
death we pass from a short to eternal life. And as the 
dread of those is indeed great, who die in doubt of their 
salvation, and who approach the solemn moment with well- 
grounded fear of passing into eternal death ; thus, on the 
other hand, the joy of the Saints is indeed great at the 

1 Tota pulchift ea arnica mea, «t macula »on est in U.—Cant. It, 7- 


close of life, hoping with some security to go and possess 
God in heaven. A nun of the order of Saint Teresa, when 
the doctor announced to her her approaching death, was 
so filled with joy that she exclaimed, * Oh, how is it, sir, 
that you announce me such welcome news, and demand 
no fee ?' Saint Lawrence Justinian being at the point of 
death, and perceiving his servants weeping round him, 
said : * Away, away with your tears ; tMs is no time to 
mourn/ ^ Go elsewhere to weep ; if you would remain 
with me rejoice, as I rejoice, in seeing the gates of heaven 
open to me that I may be united to my God. Thus also, 
a Saint Peter of Alcantara, a Saint Aloysius Gt>nzaga, and 
so many other Saints, on hearing that death was at hand, 
burst forth into exclamations of joy and gladness. And 
yet, they were not certain of being in possession of Divine 
grace, nor were they secure of their own sanctity, as Mary 
was. But what joy must the Divine Mother have felt in 
receiving the news of her approaching death! she who had 
the fullest certainty of the possession of Divine grace, es- 
pecially after the Angel Gabriel had assured her that she 
was full of it, and that she akeady possessed God. " Hail 
full of grace, the Lord is with thee . . . thou hast found 
grace." ^ And well did she herself know that her heart 
was continually burning with Divine love, so that, as 
Bernardine de Bustis says: *Mary by a singular privilege 
granted to no other Saint, loved, and was always actually 
loving God, in every moment of her life, with such ardour, 
that Saint Bernard declares, it required a continual miracle 
to preserve her life in the midst of such flames. 

Of Maiy it had already been asked in the sacred Can- 
ticles : ** Who is she that goeth up by the desert, as a pillar 
of smoke, of aromatical spices, of myrrh, and frankincense, 
and all the powders of the perfumer ? "^ Her entire mor- 
tification typified by the myrrh, her fervent prayers signi- 

^ Abite, abite cum lacrymis vestris : non est tempus lacrymanun. 

» Ave gratia plena : Doiuinus tecum . . . invenisti enim gratiam apud Deum. 
—Ltte. i, 28, SO. 

3 QuEB est ista quee ascendit per desertum, sicut virgnla fumi ex aromatibus 
myrrnee, et thuris, et universi pmyeris pigmentarii? — Cant, iii, 6. 


fied by tlie incense, and all her holy virtues, uiiited to her 
perfect love for Grod, kindled in her a flame so great, that 
net beautiful soul, wholly devoted to and consumed by 
Divine lovfe, arose continually to Grod as a pillar of smoke, 
breathing forth on every side a most sweet odour. * Such 
smoke, nay even such a pillar of smoke,' says the Abbot 
Eupert, * hast thou, O Blessed Mary, breathed forth a 
sweet odour to the most High.'^ Eustachius expresses it 
in still stronger terms : * A pillar of smoke, because bm'U- 
ing interiorly as a holocaust with the flame of Divine love, 
she sent forth a most sweet odour.'* As the loving Virgin 
lived, so did she die. As Divine love gave her life, so 
did it cause her death ; for the Doctors and holy fathers of 
the Churfch generally say she died of no other infirmity 
than pure love; Saint Ildephdnsus affirming that Mary 
either ought not to die or only die of love. 

Second Point. — But now let us see how her blessed death 
took place. After the ascension of Jesus Christ, Mary 
remained on earth to attend to the propagation of the 
faith. Hence the disciples of our Lord had recourse to 
her, and she solved their doubts, comforted them in their 
persecutions, and encouraged them to labour for the Di\dne 
glory, and the salvation of redeemed souls. She willingly 
remained on earth, knowing that such was the will of God 
for the good of the Church ; but she could not but feel 
the pain, of being far from the presence and sight of her 
beloved Son who had ascended to heaven. " Where your 
treasure is, there will your heart be also."^ said the Ke- 
defemer. Where any bne believes his treasure and his 
happiness to be, there he always holds the love and desires 
of lus heart fixed. If Maiy then loved no other good than 
Jesus, He being in heaven, all her desires were in heaven. 
Taulerus says, that * Heaven was the cell of the heavenly 
and most Blessed Virgin Mary ; for, being there with all 

^ Talis fanius, imo talis Anni vir^a, ta Beata Maria, snaTem. odorem 
Bpirasti Altissimo. — Lib. iii in Cant. c. lii. 

< Virgala fumi, quia concremata iutua in holocaxutum incendio Diyini amoiia, 
ex 6a flagrabat suayissimas odor, t 

* Ubi enim thesanroB vester est, ibi et cor vestmm erit. — Luc. zii, 84). 

30 § 


her desires and affections, she made it her continual abode. 
Her school was eternity; for she was always detached and 
free from temporal possessions. Her teacher was Divine 
truth ; for her whole life was guided by this alone. Her 
book was the purity of her own conscience, in which she 
always found occasion to rejoice in the Lord. Her mirrar 
was the Divinity ; for she never admitted any representa- 
tions into her soul, but such as were transformed into, and 
clothed with God ; that so she might always conform herself 
to His wiU. Her ornament was devotion ; for she attended 
solely to her interior sanctification, and was always ready 
to fulfil the Divine commands. Her repose was union 
with God ; for He alone was her treasure, and the resting- 
place of her heart.' 1 The most holy Virgin consoled her 
loving heart during this painful separation, by visiting, as 
it is related, the holy places of Palestine, where her Son 
had been during His liie. She frequently visited — at one 
time the stable of Bethlehem where her Son was bom, at 
another the workshop of Nazareth, where her Son had lived 
so many years poor and despised; now the garden of 
Gethsemani, where her Son commenced His Passion ; then 
the pretorium of Pilate, where He was scourged, and the 
spot on which He was crowned with thorns; but she 
visited most frequently the Moimt of Calvary, where her 
Son expired; and the Holy Sepulchre, in which she 
had finally left Him : thus did the most loving Mother 
soothe the pains of her cruel exile. But this could not be 
enough to satisfy her heart, which was unable to find 
perfect repose in this world. Hence she was continually 
sending up sighs to her Lord, e^daimiug with David: 
"Who will give me wings like a dove, and I will fly and 

1 Coelestis . . . hi^ns ac Beatissimse Virginis Marie cella, fuit cseluxn : in quo 
cum univerais desidcriis suis tota iudusa fait. Schola illios, fuit aetenutas. 
Euimvero a rebus temporalibus prorsus remota et libera erat. Pftdagogus ejus 
Bivina Veritas fuit. Cuncta nsuuque ipsius vita, juxta banc solam duigebaL 
Liber ejus, conscientiee ipsius fuit puritas, in qua uunquam non invcniebat unde 
delectaret in Domino. Speculum iUius, Divinitas fuit. Nullas namque imagines, 
nisi in Deum transformacas, et Deumindutas, in se recepit. Ornatus edus, devotio 
illius fuit. Soli quippe interiori vacabat homini. Quies ejus, unitas ipsius cum 
Deo fuit : quamqnidem cordis illius locus ct thesaurus, solus Deus erat.— S^rwt. 
d« Nat. B.U.f. 


bfi at rest ? "^ Who will give me wings like a dore, that 
I may fly to my God and there find my repose ? " As the 
liart panteth after the fountains of water : so my soul 
panteth after Thee, my God." ^ As the wounded stag paa^ 
for the fountain, so does my soul, wounded by Thy love, 
my God, desire and sigh after Thee. Yes, indeed, the s^hs 
of this holy turtle dove could not but deeply penetrat-e the 
heart of her God, who indeed so tenderly loved her. " The 
voice of the turtle is heard in our land."^ Wherefore being 
unwilling to defer any longer the so much desired con- 
solation of His beloved, behold. He graciously hears her 
desire and calls her to His kingdom. 

Cedrenus,* Nicephorus,^ and Metaphrastes,* relate that 
some days before her death, our Lord sent her the Arch- 
angel Gabriel — ^the same who announced to her that she 
was that blessed woman chosen to be the Mother of (rod : 
' My Lady and Queen,' said the angel, * Grod has already 
graciously heard thy holy desires, and has sent me to teU 
Qiee to prepare thyself to leave the earth ; for He wills thee 
in heaven. Come then to take possession of thy kingdom, 
for I and all its holy inhabitants await and desire thee.' 
On this happy annunciation, what else could our most 
humble and most holy Virgin do, but with the most pro- 
found humility, reply in the same words in which she had 
answered Saint Gabriel when he announced to her that she 
was to become the Mother of God ; " Behold the hand- 
maid of the Lord." Behold, she answered again, the 
slave of the Lord ; He in His pure goodness chose me and 
made me His Mother ; He now calls me to paradise. I 
did not deserve that honour, neither do I deserve this. 
But since He is pleased to show in my person His infinite 
liberality, behold I am ready to go where He pleases. 

1 Quia dabit nuhi pennas neat CQlamlne, et Tolabo, et reqmeacam? — Pi; 
liv, 7- 

> QnemadmodtiTn desiderat cervus ad fontes aqnanun: ita desiderat anima 
men ad te Deus. — Ps. xli, i. 

' Vox turturia audita est in terra nostra. — Cant, ii, 12. 

* Comp. kutor. 

» 1.11,0.21. 

« Orai. de Vonn. B. M.T, 

S56 ASsmmoK op illrt. 

''Behold tlie handmaid of the Lord.'* Mav ih6 wiD of 
mj God and Lord be erer accomplisbed in me. 

After receiving this welcome intelligence she imparted 
it to Saint John -. we may well imagine with what grief 
and tender feelings he heard the news ; he, who for so 
many yeats had attended upon her as a son, and had 
enjoyed the heayenly conversation of thi^ most holy 
Mdther, She then once more visited the holy places of 
JeraiSalem, tenderly taking leave of them, and especially 
of mount Calvary, where her beloved Son had died. She 
then retired itito her poor cottage, there to prepare for 
death. During this time the atigels did not cease their 
risits to their beloved Queen, consoling themselves with 
the thought that they would soon seeher crowned in heaven. 
Many authors assert,^ that before her death, the Apostles, 
and also many disciples ^ho were scattered in different 
parts of the wotld were miraculously assembled in Mary's 
room, and that when she saw all these her dear children in 
her presence she thus addressed them: 'Mybeloved children, 
through love for you, and to help you, my Son left me 
on this earth. The holy Faith is now spread throughout 
the world, already the fruit of the Divine seed is grown 
up ; hence, my Lord seeing that my assistance on earth is 
no longer necessary, and compassionating my grief in 
being separated from Him, has graciously listened to my 
desire to quit this life, and to go and see Him in heaven. 
Do ydu remain then to labour for His glory. If I leave 
you, my heart remains with you; the great love I bear you 
I shall carry ^ith me, and always preserve. I go to 
Paradise to pray for you.' Who can form an idea of the 
tears and lamentatibns of the holy disciples at this sad 
aniioimcement, and at the thought thai soon they ^ere to 
be separated &om their Mother ? All then weeping ex- 
claimed '• * Then, Mary, thou art already about to leave 
us ? It is true that this world is not a place worthy of or 

» 8. Jndr. Cret. Or. d* Dorm. Deip. S. J. Damasc. de Dorm. Deip. JEutkim. 1. iii, 
Hist. c.4g). ' 


fit for thee ; and as for us, we are unworthy to enjoy the 
society of a Mother of God ; but, remember thou art our 
Mother; hitherto thou hast enlightened us in our doubts ; 
thou hast consoled us in our afflictions ; thou hast been 
our strength in persecutions ; and now how canst thou 
abandon us, leaving us alone in the midst of so many 
enemies, and so many conflicts, deprived of thy consola- 
tion ? We have already lost on earth Jesus, our Master 
and Father, who has ascended into heaven, until now we 
have found consolation in thee our Mother ; and now, how 
canst thou also leave us orphans without father or mother? 
Our own sweet Lady, either remain with us or take us with 
thee.' Thus Saint John Damascen writes.^ No, my children 
(thus sweetly the loving Queen began to speak), this is not 
according to the will of God; be satisfied to do that which 
He has decreed for me, and for you. To you it yet re- 
mains to labour on earth for the glory of your Kedeemer, 
and to make up your eternal crown. I do not leave you 
to abandon you, but to help you still more in heaven by 
my intercession with God. Be satisfied. I commend 
the holy Church to you; I commend redeemed souls to 
you ; let this be my last farewell, and the only remem- 
brance I leave you : execute it if you love me, labour for 
the good of souls, and for the glory of my Son ; for one 
day we shall meet again in Paradise, never more for all 
eternity to be separated. 

She then begged them to give burial to her body after 
death; blessed them and desired Saint John, as Saint 
John Damascen relates, to give after her death two of her 
gowns to two virgins, who had served her for some time.^ 
She then decently composed herself on her poor little bed, 
where she laid herself to await death, and with it the 
meeting with the Divine Spouse, who shortly was to come 
and take her with Him to the kingdom of the blessed. 
Behold, she already feels in her heart a great joy, the fore- 

1 Orat. in Dorm. B. M. V. 

s Kiceph. et Metaphr., quoted by Father Joseph and Mary, in his Life of Mary. 
—Lib. JT, 13. t 

358 ASsrMPnoK of mabt. 

runner of the coming of the Bridegroom, which inundates 
her with an unaccustomed and novel sweetness. The holy 
Apostles seeing that Mary was already on the point of 
leaving this world, renewing their tears, all threw them- 
selves on their knees around her bed : some kissed her 
holy feet ; some sought a special blessing firom her ; some 
recommended a particular want ; and all wept bitterly ; 
for their hearts were pierced with grief at being obliged 
to separate themselves for the rest of their lives fiom their 
beloved Lady. And she, the most loving Mother, com- 
passionated all, and consoled each one; to some promising 
her patronage, blessing others with particular affection, 
and encouraging others to the work of the convo^ion of 
the world ; especially she called Saint Peter to her, and as 
head of the Church, and Vicar of her Son, recommended 
to him in a particular manner the propagation of the 
Eaith, promising him at the same time her especial pro- 
tection in heaven. But more particularly did she call 
Saint John to her, who more than any other was grieved 
at this moment when he had to part with his holy Mother; 
and the most gracious Lady, remembering the affection 
and attention with which this holy Disciple had served 
her during aU the years she had remained on earth since 
the death of her Son, said: *My own John' (speaking 
with the greatest tenderness), 'my own John, I thank 
thee for all the assistance thou hast afforded me : my son, 
be assured of it, I shall not be ungrateful. K I now leave 
thee, I go to pray for thee. Bemain in peace in this life 
until we meet again in heaven, where I await thee. Never 
forget me. In dl thy wants call me to thy aid; for I will 
never forget thee, my beloved son. -Son, I bless thee. I 
leave thee my blessing. Eemain in peace. Farewell ! 

But already the death of Mary is at hand ; Divine love, 
with its vehement and blessed flames, had already almost 
entirely consumed the vital spirits ; the heavenly phoenix 
is already losing her life in the midst of this fire. Then 
the hosts of angels come in choirs to meet her, as if to be 
ready for the great triumph with which they were to 


accompany her to paradise. Mary was indeed consoled 
at the sight of these holy spirits, but was not fully con- 
soled ; for she did not yet see her beloved Jesns who was 
the whole love of her heart. Hence she often repeated to 
the angels who descended to salute her. " I abjure you, 
O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that 
you tell liim that I languish with love." ^ Holy angels, 
O fair citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, you come in 
choirs kindly to console me ; and you all console me with 
your sweet presence. I thank you ; but you do not fully 
satisfy me, for as yet I do not see my Son coming to con- 
sole me : go, if you love me, return to paradise, and on 
my part, tell my Beloved that " I languish with love." 
Tell Him to come, and to come quickly ; for I am dying 
with the vehemence of my desire to see Him. 

But behold Jesus is now come to take His mother to 
the kingdom of the blessed. It was revealed to Saint 
Elizabeth, that her Son appeared to Mary before she ex- 
pired with His cross in His hands, to show the special 
glory He had obtained by the redemption; having, by His 
death, made acquisition of that great creature, who, for 
all eternity, was to honour Him more than all men and 
angels. Saint John Damascen relates, that our Lord 
Himself gave her the viaticum, saying with tender love, 
receive, O my Mother, from my hands, that same body 
which thou gavest to me. And the Mother having received 
with the greatest love that last communion, with her last 
breath said, * My Son, into Thy hands do I commend my 
spirit. I commend to Thee this soul, which from the 
beginning Thou didst create rich in so many graces, and 
by a singular privilege didst preserve from the stain of 
original sin. I commend to Thee my body, from which 
Thou didst deign to take Thy flesh and blood. I also 
commend to Thee these, my beloved children (speaking of 
the holy disciples who surrounded her) ; they axe grieved 
at my departure ; do Thou, who lovest them more than I 

^ A4jiiro 700 filisB Jerusalem, si inTeneiitii dUeetum memn, ut ntuitietLi ei 
quia amore lang;aeo. — Cant, v, 9. 


do, console them ; bless them, and give them strength to 
do great things for Thy gloiy. ^ 

The life of ^lary being now at its close, the most de- 
licious music, as Saint Jerome relates, was heard in the 
apartment where she lay ; and, according to a revelation 
of Saint Bridget, the room was also filled with a briUiaut 
light. This sweet music, and the unaccustomed splendour, 
warned the holy Apostles that ^Mary was then departing. 
This caused them again to bm-st forth in tears and prayers, 
and raising their hands, with one voice they exclaimed : 
* O, Mother, thou abready goest to heaven ; thou leavest 
us ; give us thy last blessing, and never forget us miser- 
able creatures.' Mary, turning her eyes around upon all, 
as if to bid them a last farewell, said, ' Adieu, my children, 
I bless you ; fear not, I will never forget you.' And now 
death came, not indeed clothed in mourning and grief, as 
it does to others, but adorned with light and gladness. 
But what do we say ? Why speak of death ? Let us 
rather say that Divine love came, and cut the thread of 
that noble life. And as a light before going out, gives a 
last and brighter flash than ever ; so did this beautiful 
creature on hearing her Son's invitation to follow Him, 
wrapped in the flames of love, and in the midst of her 
amorous sighs, give a last sigh of still more ardent love, 
and breatlung forth her soul, expired. Thus was that 
great Soul, that beautiful Dove of the Lord, loosened from 
the bands of this life ; thus did she enter into the glory of 
the blessed, where she is now seated, and will be seated, 
Queen of paradise for all eternity. 

Mary then has already left this world ; she is now in 
heaven. Thence does this compassionate Mother look 
down upon us who are still in this valley of tears ; she 
pities us, and if we wish it, promises to help us. Let us 
always beseech her, by the merits of her blessed death, to 
obtain us a happy death : and should such be the good 
j)leasure of God, let us beg her to obtain us the grace to 
die on a Saturday, which is a day dedicated in her honour, 

1 S. J. Damtuc. Orat. df Dorm. ff. M. }\ 


or on a day of a novena ; or within the octave of one of 
her feasts ; for this she has obtained for so many of her 
clients, and especiaUy for Saint Stanislaus Kostka, for 
whom she obtained that he should die on the £Bast of her 
Assumption, as Father Bartoli relates in his life. 


During his lifetime thi« holy youth, who was wholly 
dedii^ited to the We of Mary, ha{^eaed, on the first of 
August, to hear a aermon preached by Father Peter Cani- 
sius, in which, exhorting the novices <>f the society, be 
urged them all, with the greatest fervour, tg live each day 
M if it wac the last of their lives, and the one on which 
th^ were to be presented before God's tribunal. After 
the sermon Saint Stanislaus told his companions that that 
advice had been for him, in an especial manner, the voioe 
of God ; for that ]m was to die in the course of that very 
month. It is evident, bom what followed, that be said 
ihis, either because God had expressly revealed it to hiQi> 
or at least becaofie He gave him a certain internal presi^n- 
timent of it. Four days afterwards the blessed youth w^nt 
with Father £manuel to Saint Mary Major's. Tha eo».- 
veraation fell on the approaching feast of the Assumption, 
and the Saint said : * Father, I believe that on that day 
a new paradise is seen in paradise, as the glory of the 
Mother of God, ejrowned Queen of heaven, and seated so 
near to our Lonl, above all the choirs of angels, is seen. 
And if — as I firmly believe it to be— this festival is 
x^iewed every year, I hope to see the n^&t.' The glorious 
martyr Saint Lawrence had &Uen by lot to Saint Stanislaus 
as his patron for that month, it bdng customary in the 
society thus to draw them. It is said that he wrote a 
letter to his Mother Mary, in which he b^ged her to 
obtain him the favour to be presmt at her next festival in 
heaven. On the feast of Saint Lawrence he received the 
holy Communion, and afterwards entreated the Saint to 
present his letter to the Divine Mother, and to support 



liis petition with \m interoession^ that the most Eiesaed 
Virgin might graciously accept and grant it. Towards 
the dose of that very day he was seized with fever, and 
though the attack was slight, he considered that certainly 
he had ohtained the favour asked for. This indeed he 
joyfully expressed, and with a smiling countenance, on 
going to bed, said, * From this bed I shall never rise 
again/ And speaking to Father Claudius Aquaviva he 
added, ' Father, I believe that Saint Lawrence has already 
obtained me the favour from Mary, to be in heaven on 
the feast of her Assumption.* No one, however, took much 
notice of his words. On the vigil of the feast his illness 
still seemed of little consequence, but the Saint assured a 
brother that he should die that night. * Oh brother,' the 
other answered, ' it would be a greater miraok to die of 
so slight an illness than to be cured.' Nevertheless in the 
afternoon he fell into a deathlike swoon; a cold sweat 
came over him, and he lost all his strength. The superior 
hastened to him, and Stanislaus entreated him to have 
him hiid on the bare floor, that he might die as a penitent. 
To satisfy him, this was granted ; he was laid on a thin 
mattress on the ground. He then made his confession, 
and in the midst of the tears of all present received the 
Viaticum. I say of the tears of all present; for when the 
Divine Sacrament was brought into the room, his eyes 
brightened up with celestial joy, and his whole counte* 
nance was inflamed with holy love, so that he seemed like 
a seraph. He also received extreme unction, and in the 
meanwhile did nothing but constantly raise his eyes to 
heaven, and lovingly press to his heart an image of Mary. 
A Father asked him to what purpose he kepi a rosaiyiin 
his hand, since he eould not use it P He relied, * It is a 
consolation to me ; for it is sometlmag belonging to my 
Mother. ' * Oh, how much greater will your consolation be,' 
added the Father, * when you shortly see her, and kiss heie 
hands in heaven ! ' On hearing this, the Saint, with his 
countenance all on fire, raised his hands, to express his 
desire soon to be in her presence. His dear Mother then 


appeared to him, as he faiinself told those who suirounded 
him, and shortly afterwards, at the dawn of day, on the 
fifteenth of Angnst, with his eyes fixed on heaven, he 
expired like a Saint, without the slightest stmprgle ; so 
much so, that it was only on presenting him the image of 
the Blessed Yirgm, and seeing that he made no move- 
ment towards it, that it was perceived that he was ahready 
gone to kiss the feet of his beloved Queen in paradise. 


Oh most sweet Lady, and our Mother, thou hast al- 
ready left the earth, and reached thy kingdom, where, as 
Queen, thou art enthroned above all the choirs of angels, 
as the Church sings : ' She is exalted above the choirs of 
angels in the celestial kingdom.'^ We well know, that 
we sinners were not worthy to possess thee in this valley 
of darkness. But we also know, that thou, in thy great- 
ness, hast never forgotten us miserable creatures ; and that 
by being exalted to such great glory, thou hast never lost 
oompas^on for us poor cMLdren c^ Adam ; nay, even that 
it is increased in thee. From the high throne, then, to 
which thou art exalted, turn, O Mary, thy compassionate 
eyes upon us, and pity us. Remember also, that in 
leaving this world, thou didst promise not to forget 
us. Look at us and succour us. See in the midst of 
what tonpests and dangers we constantly are, and shall be 
until the end of our Hves. By the merits of thv happy 
death, obtain us holy perseverance in the Divine friendship, 
that we may finally quit this life in God's grace; and 
thus, we also ^aU one day come to kiss thy feet in para- 
dise, and. unite with the blessed Spirits in praising thee, 
and singing thy glories as thou deservest. Amen. 

1 Exaltata est super clioros angelorum ad coelestia regna. — In Fesf. Jssumji. 

Discourse vm. 


1 * I ■ mm^mt M ■ H I 

Id. How ffiorwuB idub the triumph tf Mary whin Mke 
Mcended to heaven ! 2nd. Haw exaUed was the throne to 
which she was elevated in heansen I 

IT wotdd seem right, that on this day of the Assiunptioii 
of M(uy to heateni the holy Church shoukl rather in« 
vite us to mourn than to rejoice^ sinoe our sweet Mother 
has quitted this worlds and kft us dqirited s£ her sweet 
presence, as Saint Bernard says : ' It seeiaa that w^ dboidd 
rather weep than rejoice.'^ But no, the holy Church ii^ 
vites ua to rejoioe *. 'Let ua all re^iee in the Lofd, fStAb- 
hrating a festival in honour of the Blessed Virgin Maxy»'^ 
And justly; for, if we love our Mother^ we ought to 
congratulate ourselves more upfoti her glory, than on our 
own private consolaition. What m^ does not rejoieej 
though on account of it he has to be separated &om his 
mothefj if he knows that she is going to takie possession 
of a kingdom? Mary, on this day, i6 crowned Qiumhi 
of Heaven^ and shall we not keep it a festival, and 
rejoice, if we truly love her ? ' Let uB r^oioe theU) let us 
2^ rqjoioe.' And that we may rcjoieei and be (Kmsokd 
the more by her eitaltation^ let ua eonsideri iirst, how 
glorious was the triutnph of Maiy when dho ascended to 
heaven 1 And, secondly, how glorious was the throne 
to which she was there exalted ! 

First Point. — After Jesus Christ, our Saviour, had com- 
pleted, by His death, the work of redemption, the angels 
ardently desired to possess Him in their heavenly country. 

1 Piskiigeiidttm tMhis quam xflaitdmcKbii tAkgtd esse Tideattir. — In Msump. 
B. M. V. Serm. i. 

* Gaudeamus onmeB is Domino, diem feftttm celebrantes sob bouore B. Maris 
Virginia.— /n^ro. MisM in Jswmp. B. M. F. 


Hence, they were continually supplicating Him in the 
words of David : " Arise, O Lord, into Thy resting place : 
Thou and the ark which Thou hast sanctified. "^ Come, O 
Lord, come quickly, now that Thou hast redeemed men 
come to Thy kingdom and dwell with us, and bring with 
Thee the living ark of Thy sanctification — Thy Mother, who 
was the ark which Thou didst sanctify, by dwelling in her 
womb. Precisely thus, does Saint Bemardine make the 
angels say : * Let Thy most holy Mother Mary, sanctified 
by Thy conception, also ascend/^ Our Lordwas, therefore, at 
length pleased to satisfy the desire of these heavenly citi- 
zens, by calling Mary to paradise. But if it was His will 
that the ark of the old dispensation should be brought 
with great pomp into the city of David—" And David, and 
all the house of Israel, brought the ark of the Covenant 
of the Lord with joyful shouting, and with sound of trum- 
pet,"* — ^with how much greater, and more glorious pomp, 
did He ordain that His Mother should enter heaven! The 
prophet Elias was carried to heaven in a fiery chariot, 
which, according to interpreters, was no other than a group 
of angels who bore him oiF from the earth. ' But, to con- 
duct thee to heaven, O Mother of God,' says the Abbot 
Rupert, * a fiery chariot was not enough ; the whole court 
of heaven, headed by its King, thy Son, went forth to meet 
and accompany thee.' ^ 

Saint Bmiardine of Sienna is of the same opinion. He 
says, that 'Jesus,' to honour the triumph of His most 
sweet Mother, * went forth in His glory to meet and ac- 
company her.'^ Saint Anselm also says, *that it was 
precisely for this purpose that the Bedeemer was pleased 
to ascend to heaven before His Mother, that is. He did so 
not only to prepare a throne for her in that kingdom, but 

1 Surge Dominc in requiem tuam, tu et arcasanctificationis tu». — Fs. cxxxi, 8. 

' Ascendat etiam Mana tua sanctissima Mater, tui eonceptione sanctificata. t 

' Et David et omnia domus Israel ducebant arcam testamenti Domini, in 
jubilo, et in clangore buccins. — 2 Seg. vi, 15. 

* Ad transferendum te in coelum, nou unua tantmu currus igneus, sed totni 
cum Rege suo, Fiiio tuo, venit atque occurrit exercitus angelorum. t 

fi Surrezit gloriosuB Jesus in occnnam wm dulcissimte Matna.— •&»». in 
Jstump. B. M. V, art. ii. 

31 h 


ako that He might Himself acc(»np«ny hor with all the 
bkMfid spirits, and thus render Eer entry into heaven more 
glorious^ and suoh as became one who. was His Mother.' ^ 
Hence, 8aint Peter Damian, contemplating the splendouir 
(^ this assumption of Mary into heaven, says, ' that we 
shall find it more glorious than the asoension of Jesus 
Christ ; for, to meet the Bedeemer, angels only went forth ) 
but when the Blessed Virgin was assumed to glory, she 
was met and accompanied by the Lord Himself of glory, 
and by the whole blessed company of Saints and Angels/^ 
For this reason, the Abbot Guarrio supposes the Divine 
Word thus speaking i ' To honour the Father^ I descended 
from heaven ; to honour My Mother, I reasoended there: '^ 
that thus I might be enabled to go forth to meet her, and 
Myself accompany her to paradise. 

Let us now consider how our Saviour went forth from 
heaven to meet His Mother. On first meeting her, and to 
console her, He said : '* Arise, make haste, My love, My 
dove, My beautiful one^ and come. For winter is now 
past and gone."* Oome, My own dear Mother, My pure 
and beautiful dove, leave that vaUey of tears, in which, for 
My love, thou hast suffered so much : " Come from Liba- 
nus. My Spouse, dome from Libanus, come : thou shalt 
be crowned."^ Come in soul and body, to enjoy the re- 
compense of thy holy life. If thy sufferings have been 
ffttat on earth, far greater is the gloiy whioh I have pre- 
pmA Ibr thee in hoftten, Enttr then that kingdom, and 

? frqoiea^H et dism^ri conallio usua prseeed^re illam volel^aif , qm^tenus 91 
Ipfctifti immdrtalitati* m regno tao prfeparhres, ae sitj coraitatiis towi curia tua 
lb»tivhv ei oeeorreres, eanque sublimius ilouk deeeba^ tuam Matrem ad teipsoxa 
exaltares. — J)e Excel. V. cap. vii. 

■ Attolle jam ttculoa Ad AMumpttoneih Virgjuis, et saltit tlliimj^estttte, Invenles 
Oq^iorsum hujtt» pompee nou meaiocHter digniorem. Soli quippe Af^eli Kedeup- 
tori bccurrcre poluerunt, Matri vero coelorum palatia penetrant! Illius ipse, cum 
tota curia, tarn Augelorum, quam Jnstorum, solemniter occurrens, evexit ad 
beattB eonsistorium seasionis. — S«rm. in Aasump. B. M. V. 

3 Ego sum qui patrem et matrem filiia lionorandoa commendavi, ego ut facercni 
q«od dooai, et exomplo esaem allis, ut Patrem honovarem, in terram descend! : 
nihilominus ut Matrem honorarem, in ccelum reascendi. — Strvn. 11 »» Aatumf. 
B. M. V. 

* Surge, propera arnica mea, coluraba mea, formosa mea, et yenL Jam eaiai 
hiems transitt, imber abiit et rec«8iit.>-<'(;2iw^ it, 10, 11. 

3 Yeuide Libano spouaa mea, veni de LibanOj veni, ccnronaberu.— CSu»^. ir, 8. 


take thy seat near Me ; come to recme that crf)wii, which 
I will bestow upon thee, as Queen of the uniTerse. Be- 
hold, Mary already leaves the earth, at which she looks 
with affection and compassion; with affection, remem- 
bering the many graces she had there received from her 
Lord; and with affection and compassion, because, in it 
she leaves so many poor children surrounded with miseries 
and dangers. But see, Jesus off^s her His hand, and the 
Blessed Mother already ascends ; already she has passed 
beyond the clouds, beyond the spheres. Behold her al- 
ready at the gates of heaven. When monarchs make their 
solemn entry into their kingdoms, they do not pass through 
the gates of the capital ; for, they are removed to make 
way for them on this Occasion. Hence> when Jesus Christ 
entered paradise, the angels cried out: "Lift up your 
gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates : 
and the King of Glory shall enter in."^ Thus also, now 
that Mary goes to take possession of the kingdom of 
heaven, the angels who accompany her cry out to those 
within : * Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted 
up, O eternal gates : and the Queen of Glory shall enter 

Behold Mary already enters that blessed country. But 
on her entrance the celestial spirits, seeing her so beautiful 
and glorious, ask the angels without, as Origen supposes 
it, • with united voices of exultation : " Who is this that 
O^&sth up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning 
w|)0n he? beloted)^*''^ And who can this creature, so 
b^autiftil be, that comes from the desert of the earth, a 
{daoe of thorns and tribulation ? But this one comes pure 
and rich in virtue, leaning on her beloved Lord, who is 
graciously pleased Himself to accompany her with so great 
honour? Who is she? The angels accompanying her 
answer: 'She is the Mother of our King; she is our Queeti, 
and the blessed one among women, foU of grace, the Saint 

^ AttolHti toortas priticfpei vestras, et elevamini porte Eetemales, et introibit 
rex elorise. — Fs. xxiu, 7- 

* Una ommum in coeio erat botantinni (vox) : ** Qti» est isia, qn« ascendit de 
deaerto, (lelidis affluens, inniza super dilectom suum?" — Cant, viii, 6. t 


of saints, the beloved oi God, tiie immacalate one, the 
dove, the fairest of all creatnues.' Then all the blessed 
spirits Ix^^in to bless and praise her, singing with far more 
reason than the Hebrews did to Jndith : " Thon art the 
glory of Jerusalem ; thou art the joy of Israd; thon art 
the honour of our people."^ Ah our Lady, and our Queen, 
thou then art the glory of paradise, the joy of our country, 
thou art the honour of us all ; be thou ever welcome, be 
thou ever blessed; behold thy kingdom; behold us also, 
who are thy servants, ever ready to obey thy commands. 

All the Saints who were in paradise then came to 
welcome her, and salute her as their Queen. All the holy 
virgins came : " The daughters saw her and declared her 
most blessed ; and they'praiaed her." ^ * We,' they said, 'O 
most blessed Lady, are also queens in this kingdom, but 
thou art our Queen ; for thou wast the first to give us the 
great example of consecrating our virginity to God ; we all 
bless and thank thee for it.' Then came the holy confes- 
sors to salute her as their mistress, who, by her holy life, 
had taught them so many beautiful virtues. The holy 
martyrs abo came to salute her as their Queen; for she, by 
her great constancy in the sorrows of her Son's Passion, 
had taught them, and also by her merits had obtained 
them strength to lay down their lives for the faith. Saint 
James, the only one of the Apostles who was yet in heaven, 
also came to thank her in the name of all the other 
apostles, for aU the comfort and help she had afforded 
them while she was on earth. The prophets next came to 
salute her, and said : ' Ah Lady, thou wast the one 
foreshadowed in our prophecies.' The holy Patriarchs 
then came and said: 'O Mary, it is thou who wast our 
hope ; for thee it was that we sighed with such ardour, 
and for so long a time.' But amongst these latter came 
our first parents, Adam and Eve, to thank her with 
stiU greater affection. ' Ah beloved daughter,' they said, 

1 Ta gloria Jenualem, tu Istitia Israel, tu honorifioentia populi noBtii.— • 
Judith XV, 10. 

2 Videruiit earn filise, et beatisaimam prsdicaverunt . . . et laadaveront earn. — 
Cant. VL 8. 

'•tlioa'bflat Wjpsmd the' injury'^ioh w« itiilidted^ ofi iti^ 
Iranian' riK^ ; tluya Hast oblMiiiied for tke Wmid'tbftt bleCi^ 
iftg wMch we kwt by »nr eritne ; by thee we ate savied, 
attd Ib^ it be evet Weseed/ 

Saint Simecnl then came to kiss her i^et, aiid with jdf 
reminded her of the day when he received the mfstat Je^us 
fmte her hands, daint Zai^aty and Saint Elizabeth also 
dmne, and again thanked her for that loving visit which, 
with sttch great hnmility and charity, she had paid them 
in th«f dwelling, and by which they had received soeh 
ttteasui^es of grace. Saint John the Baptist came with still 
greater affection, to thank her for having sanctified him by 
her voice. But how rntst her hely pai^nts, Saint JoaeMtn 
and Saint Anne, have spoken when they came to salute 
ber? Oh God, with what tenderness mnst they have 
btessed her, saying: 'Ah beloved dan^hter, what a 
ftnrotir it was for ns to have such a child! Be thou now 
oui? Qnefen j for thou art the Mother of our God^ and as 
such we salnte and adore thee.* But who can ever form 
an idea of the affection with which her dear spouse Saint 
Joseph came to salute her ? AVho can ever describe the 
joy which the holy Patriarch felt at seeing his Spouse so 
triumphantly enter heaven, and made Queen of Paradise f 
With what tenderness mnst he have addressed her : * Ah, 
my Lady and Spouse, how can I ever thank our God as I 
onght, for having made me thy spouse, thou who art His 
true Mother ! Through thee I merited to assist on earth 
the childhood of the Eternal Word, to carry Him bo often 
in my arms, and to receive so many special graces. Ever 
blessed be those moments which I spent in life, in serving 
Jesus, and thee, my holy Spouse. Behold our Jeausj 
let us rtjoice that now He no longer lies on straw in a 
manger, as we saw Him at His birth in Bethlehem. He no 
longer lives poor and despised in a shop, as He once lived 
^th us in NaKareth ; , He is no longer nailed ' to an in- 
famous gibbet, as when He died in Jerusalem for the salva- 
tion of the world ; but He is seated at the right hand of His 
Father, as King and Lord of heaven and earth. And now. 


oh my Queoi, we skall never more be aepaiated from His 
feet; we shall there bless Him,aiidlove Him for all eiemiiy.' 

AH the angels then came to salute her; and she tte 
great- Qneen, thanked all for the assistance they had given 
her on earth, and more especially she thank^ the arch*- 
angel Gabrid, who was the happy ambassador, the beaopsr 
of all hex glories, when he came to smnonnoe to hear, that 
she was the chosen Mother of Grod. The hnmble and 
holy Virgin, then kneeling, adored the XHyine Majesty, and» 
aU absorbed in the consciousness of her own nothingness, 
thanked Him for all the graces bestowed upon her by His 
pure goodness, and especially for haying made her the 
Mother of the Eternal Word. And then, let him who can, 
comprehend with what love the Most Holy Trinity blessed 
h«r. Let him compiehend the welcome given to His 
Daughter by the Eternal Father, to His Mother by the 
Son, to His Spouse by the Holy Grhost. The Father 
crowned her by imparting His .power to her ; the Son, His 
wisdom ; the Holy Ghost His love. And the three Divine 
Persons, placing her throne at the right of that of Jesus, 
declared her Sovereign of Heaven and earth; and com*- 
manded the angels, and all creatures to acknowledge her 
as their Queen, and as such to serve and obey her. Let 
us now consider, how exalted was the throne to which 
Mary was raised in heaven ! 

Second Faint, — ' K the mind of man,' says Saint Bernard, 
'can never comprehend the immense glory prepared in 
heaven by God, for those Who on earth have loved Him, 
as the Apostle tells us, who can ever comprehend the glory 
He has prepared for His beloved Mother, who, more than 
all men, loved Him on earth; nay, even from the very first 
moment of her creation, loved Him more than all men and 
angels united?' Bightly, then, does the Church sing, 
that Mary having loved God more than all the angefa, 
' the. Mother of God has been exalted above them oDr in 
the heavenly kingdom. '^ Yes, *she was exalted,' sa^a 

* Exaltats cirt sanctit Dei Genitrix stiper ehoros angdonun nd ecelestin ttfgna. 
•— /» Festo Jtssump. 


tfai^'Abibcrt William, 'above the angels ', bo tkat $}i& sees 
none above her birt her Son/^ who is the Only Begott«i 
of the Father. 

Henoe it is that the learned Gerson asserts, that as all 
the orders of angels and saints are divided into three 
hierarchies (according to the angelic Doctor and St. Denis), 
so does Mary of herself constitute a hierarchy apart, the 
sublimest of all, and next to that of God.^ And as 
(adds Si. Antoninus) the mistress is, without comparison, 
above her servants, so is ' Mary, who is the sovereign Lady 
of the Angels^ exalted incomparably above the angelic 
kierarchies.'^ To understand this, we need only know 
^f^t David said: '' The Queen stood on Thy right hand ;"^ 
and, in a sermon by an ancient author, among the works 
of St. Athanasius, these words are explained as meaning 
that * Mary is placed at the right hand of God.' 

It is certain, as St. Ildephonsus says, that Mary's 
good works incomparably surpassed in merit those of all 
the saints, and therefore her reward must have surpassed 
theirs in the same proportion. Eor, * as that which she 
bore was incomprehensible, so is the reward, which she 
merited and received, incomprehensibly greater than that 
of all the saints.'^ And, since it is certain that God 
rewards according to merit, as the apostle writes, " Who 
will render to every man according to his works,"® it i» 
also eertain, as St. Thomas teaches, that the Blessed 
Virgm, ' who was equal to, and even superior in merit to all 
mm and angels^ was exalted above all the celestial orders.' 7 
Mn fine,' adds Saint Bernard, ' let us measure the singular 
grace that she acquired on earth, and then we may measuj^ 

* ^ Matrem dico ex&ltatam stmer choros angeloram, atnihfl contempletur kuper 
m M|^^ B>>i FUicua suum. — Sen». ir dc Atsump. t 

* Virgo sola constituit Merarchiamsecundam sub Deo hierarclia prime, f 

'* Beata Maria 6st Domina Angelorum . . . ergo improportioiiabiliter Mt . . . 
super omnem hieiarchiam exaltata. — ^P. iv, tit. 15^ c. 20, No. 15. 

* Aatmt Begina a dextris tuis.— P*. xliv, 10. 

, ^ Sicnt inootapnnibile eat quod geasit, et inoffiabile donian cpiod'pttrreptt, c-t 
iiisestimalHic atque incomprehcnsibile preeniiiuu, et gloria . . . inter oiiines Sancto». 
qnttfu pnmiteniit.^HSerm. u de Msump. B. M.V. 

* Qui reddet unicuique secundum opera ejus. — Bom. ii, C. 

7 ^cut babuit meritum omnium, et amplius, itacongniuiu ruit,ut super omues 
ponatur ordineaoGcleates. — Liu. de Sol. Sanct. t 


the singular glory which she obtained in heaven;* for, 
' according to the measure of her grace on earth, is the 
measure of her gloiy in the kingdom of the blessed.'^ 

A learned author^ remarks, that the glory of Mary, which 
is a full, a complete glory, differs in that from the glory 
of other Saints in heaven. It is true that in heaven aU 
the Blessed enjoy perfect peace and full contentment ; yet 
it will always be true, that no one of them enjoys as great 
glory as he could have merited, had he loved and served 
God with greater fidelity. Hence, though the Saints in 
heaven desire nothing more than they possess, yet in fact, 
there is something that they could desire. It is also true, 
that the sins which they have committed, and the time 
which they have lost, do not bring suifering ; still it cannot 
be denied that a greater amount of good done in hhy 
innocence preserved, and time well employed, give the 
greatest happiness. Mary desires nothing in heaven, and 
has nothing to desire. Who amongst the Saints in heaven, 
esLoept Mary, says Saint Augustine,^ if asked whether he 
has committed sins, could say no ? It is certain, as the 
holy Coimcil of Trent* has defined, that Mary never com- 
mitted any sin, or the slightest imperfection ; not only she 
never lost Divine grace, and never even obscured it, but 
she never kept it idle ; she never performed an action 
which was not meritorious ; she never prononnoed a wwd, 
never had a thought, never drew a breath, that was not 
directed to the greater glory of God 1 In fine, she never 
cooled in her ardour, or stopped a single moment in her 
onward course towards God ; she never lost anything by 
negligence ; but always corresponded with grace witii her 
whole strength, and loved God as much as she could love 
Him. * O Lord,' she now says to Him in heaven, * if I loved 
Thee not as much as Thou didst deserve, at Least I loved 
Thee as much as I could.' 

In each of the Saints there were different graces, as 

1 Quantum enim gratue in terns adepta est, tantom et in OGebs obtinct gloric 
' P. la Columbiire, Serm. zxriiL t 
s De Nat. §t Gratia, contra FeUag. cap. xxxvi. ^ ScM vi, can. S8. 


Saint Paul says, '' There are diversities of graces."^ So 
th^t eacjb. of them, by corresponding with the grace he had 
received, excelled in some particular virtue — the one in 
slaving souJs> the othei* in leading a penitential life ; one 
in enduing torments, another in a life of prayer ; and this 
U the reason for which the Holy Church, in celebrating 
their festivals, says of eadi, ' There was not found one like 
him.' 2 And as in their merits they differ, so do they 
differ in celestial glory : " For star differeth from star."^ 
Apostles differ from martyrs, coniPessors from virgins, the 
innocent frpm pemtents. The Blessed Virgin being full 
of all graces, excelled each Saint in every particular virtue ; 
she was the Apostle of the apostjes -, she was the Queen of 
mactyrs, for she suffered more than all of them ; she was 
ii^ standard-bearer of virgins, the model of married peo- 
ple; she mnited in herself perfect innocence and perfect 
mortification ; in fine, she united in her heart all the most 
heroic virtues that any Saint ever practised, ^ence of 
her it was said, that '' the Queen stood on Thy right hand, 
in gilded clothing ; surrounded with variety."^ For all the 
graces, privileges, and merits of ike other Saints, were all 
united in Mary, as the Abbot of .Celles says : ' Tlie pre- 
rogatives of all the Saints, O Virgin, thou hast united in 
thyself/ 5 

She possessed ihem in such a degree that, aj9 'the 
splendour of the sun exceeds that of all the stars united,' 
so, says Saint Basil of Seleucia, ' does Mary's glory exceed 
that of aU the blessed.'^ Saint Peter Damian adds, that 
* as the light of the moon and stars is so entirely edipsed 
on the appearance of the sun, that it is as if it was nc^, so 
also does Mar/s glory so far exceed the splendour of all 
men and angels, that, so to say, they do not appear in 

1 Divisiones yero gratianun sunt, idem autem tpirita«. — ^1 Cor. xii, 4t. 
' Non eat mventus simUia illi. 

* Stella enim a rtella differt in daritate. — ^1 Cor. Z7, 41. t 

* AMtitit legauk a dexths iuis in vestitu deaorato drcmndata Yodebate.—Pi. 
xliv, 10. 

* Omaiaia Sanctonun pxivilegia onuiia babes i]i.te ccnaqaesta.— -Cim/«Mp/. £. V. 
cap. ii. 

* Tanto svpm martvres omnea qilendore enitoifc, quantia aol ateUamm micantea 
ndioa fiOgmnbua ntiak.>-Ora^. in B. V. et IneamtU. J>. if. J. C. 



heaven.** Hence Samt B(*rnaTcRiic erf Sienna asserts, with 
Saint Bernard, that the blessed participate ih part in the 
Bivine glory, but that the Blessed Virgin has been, in a 
certain way, so grtatly enriched with it,' that it wonld 
seem that no creature could be more closely united with 
Grod than Mary is : ** She has penetrated into the bottom 
of the deep, and seems immersed as deeply as it is possrible 
for a creature in that inaccessible light.' ^ Blessed Albert 
the Great confirms this, saying that our Queen * contem- 
plates the Majesty of God in incomparably closer proximity 
than all other creatures.'* The abovenamed Saint Ber- 
nardine, moreover, says, * that as the other planets are 
illumined by the sun, so do all the blessed receive li^it, 
and an increase of happiness from the sight of Mary/* 
And in another place he also asserts, that * when the glori- 
ous Virgin Mother of God ascended to heaven, she aug- 
mented the joy of aU its inhabitants.** 

For the same reason Saint Peter Bamian says, that ' the 
«:reatest glory of the blessed in heaven is, after seeing God, 
the presence of this most beautiful Queen.'* And Saiirt 
Bonaventure, * that after God, our greatest glory, and our 
greatest joy, is Maiy.'7 

Let us then rejoice with Mary, that God has exalted 
her to so high a throne in heaven. Let us also rejoice on 
our own account ; for though our Mother is no longer pre- 
sent with us on earth, having ascended in glory to heaven, 

1 Claritas solis . . . ita libi gidernm, et lunse rapit poutionem, ut sint ^tiasi 
Ttcni aint, et videri non poseint. Similiter et Vii^ J tut, -viii pnem htmiiuB, in 
ilia inaccesaibiU lace perlucena, tic utrammaie ipiritaum bebetat digmtatem, nt 
in comparatfone Virgmii, nee possint, nee &beant apparere.— -iShw, d^ Assumf. 

^ In peradiso DivinsB gloriea participation csetaris Quadammoclo per partes 
iMxsr. Bed secundam Sernardnm l>eata Vfa^ Haria Divina tscpitAwt pnmin- 
(Ussinxam, nitra q[uam credi valeat, jpenetravit abyMnim : ut qnantma line per- 
sonali iiniDne ereatone conditio patnor, illi ind maoceMibili vldeatarimiiiena. 
—DeExaU, B. V. art. i, cap. 10. 

s Vigio gloriosae VirginiB Matris Dei, quse super omnes creatufatf improgsrtio- 
nabilitcr . . . oontempuitnr majestatem iJei. — mip. MiMtM, q. hdi. 

*" Qoddanimodo neat csetera luminaria imdiantiir aaoie, lie totaooelestis euttB 
a 'jiloriosa Virnne Isetificatur et decoratur. — Loe. eit. art. i, cap. S. 

^^ QLorioKi Virgo Ahbi ecetoa eaeendity etiam siq»enM>mn gwacHa ifivinni-M^i'osia 
au(;mentis cumulavit. — Ssrm. de Exalt. B. M. V. art. i, cap. 3. 

^ Sununa gloria est post Deum te videre.-HSprto. i de Not. B. M. K " ^ 

' Post Deum, major nostra gloria, et majus nostrum gandittm, <^X Maria tst. 


yet, in isfMioiJiXi.^he i3 *lvrpry3, with m* ■ N^yi ieven.bdu^ 
there^ nearer to Gk>d» ^ better knoirs oiu: laiseme^ ; » aad 
her pityior U3 i3 greater, white 3lie la better abl^tohelp xis^ 
* Is impossible, O Blessed Virgin,' says S&int Peter- Damianv 
' becaqse thou art so greatly exalted, thou haat fatgotteu 
ua in ouj! miseries ? Ah no, God forbid that we should 
have such a thought ! so compassionate a heart cannot 
but pity our so great miseries.'* * If Mary's compassion 
for the miserable/ says Saint Bonaventure^ ' was great when 
she lived upon earth, it is far greater now that she 
reigns in heaven.'^ 

Let us, in the mean time, dedicate ourselves to the ser* 
vice of this Queen, to honour and love her as much as we 
can \ for, as Eichard of Saint Lawrence remarks, ' She is 
not like other rulers, who oppress their vassals with bur- 
dens and taxes; but she enriches her servants with graces, 
merits, and rewards.'^ Let us also entreat her in the 
WjOrdfi of the Abbot Guarric : * O Mother of Mercy, thou 
who, sittest on so lofty a throne, and in such close 
proximity to God, satiate thyself with the glory of thy 
Jesus, and send us, thy servants, the fragments that are 
left.'* Thou dost now enjoy the heavenly banquet of thy 
Lord; and we, who are still on earth, as dogs under 
the table, ask thy mercy. 


Father Silvano Eazzi^ relates, that a devout ecclesiastic, 
and tender lover of our Queen Mary, having heard her 
beauty greatly extolled, had a most ardent desire once to 
see his Lady ; and therefore, with hmnble prayers, l)egged 
this favour. The clement Mother sent Hm word by an 

1 Numquid quia ita deiiicata, ideo nostrce humanitatia oblita es ? Neqnaquam 
Domina . . . non convenit tantse misericordtoe tantaiu miseriam Kiti^^raxL'^Serm,. i 
xH ifat. B. H. r. 

' Magna erga mlseroe fiiit misericordia Marite adhnc exolantis in mimdo, sed 
amUv UMior erga miaeros est miMiicordia ejus jam regnantis in oodo.^ — Spec. 
B. M. 7. Lect. x. 

' |l9giiuk Maria largiiiar lervia anii, dona gratiarum, vestes rirtutunii theMnros 
meritorum, et magnitadiacm pnamiorani. — De Ltaid. V. 1. vi, c. 13. 

♦ Serm. iv i%Jaump. B. M. V. Vid. pairc 180, note 4. 

3)6 ASftUMMiON OP' MAllY. 

angel, fhat shef would fftattfy Wih, by AHbWing'hild tO/fce 
her, bilt on this condition, thai after' aeeitfg her he ^hoiild 
remain blind. He accejrted the cdnditioli. 'Beh(Ad, on* 
day the Blessed Virgin apjifeared to Iftm; Iwlt tlwft he 
might hot remain quite blind, he tt fffst Tfished to-ldiok at 
her with one eye only ; but afterwards orercwfie hf' the 
great beatity of Mary, he wished to cont^tnplftte' hfer Irtth 
both, whereupon the Mother of Bbd disappeared: tSFfie^ed 
at having lost the presence bf his Queeri, he coulft iM 
cease weeping, not indeed for hi!j lost eye, btit bt^^sCuse ke 
had not seen her with both. He then began to eirtfcgat 
her again, that she would once liiore appeal' to hi», b{4ng 
quite willing for this purpose t6 lose the Othet* eye, ditd 
become blind. 'Happy and contented sHal! I be, 0% 
my Lady,' he siaid, *to become t^hblly bliftd fbt so gocrd 
a cause, which will leave me mor6 than ever ettamonTM:6f 
thee, and of thy beauty.' Mary was graciously pleK^ 
once more to Satisfy him, and again consoled Hitn W^ll her 
presence ; but because this loting Queen eftn ntrret injure 
any one, she not only did not deprive hito of thfe sigai bf 
the other eye, but even restored him the one he had ttist. 


Oh great, exalted, and most glorious Lady, prostrate at 
the foot of thy throne, we adore thee from this vaUey of 
tears. We rejoice at thy imlncnse glOiy, with which our 
Lord has enriched thee. And now that thou art enthroned 
as Queen of heaven and earth, ah forget us not, thy poor 
servants. Disdain not from the high throne oh i«^ich 
thou reignest to cast thine eyes of mercy on us miserable 
creatures. The nearer thou art to the source of graces, in 
the greater abundance canst thou procnre those gtk%^)r 
us. In heaven thou seest more plainly our im9md; 
helice thou must compassionate and smocomr m ths- mim. 
Make us thy faithful servants on earth, thact thus iwjijolay 
one day bless thee iri heaven. On this day, on whi6fe.'itb(m 
wast m^de Queen of the tmiverse, we also ooiiseel:«tei i^olr- 


selves to thy service. la the midst of thy so great joy, 
Cionsole us liso by accepting us as thy servants. Thou art 
tlien our Mother. Ah most sweet Mother, most amiable 
Mother, thine altars are surrounded by many people: 
some ask to be cured of a disorder ; some to be relieved 
ill their necessities ; some for an abundant harvest ; and 
some tor success in litigation. We ask thee for graces 
more pleasing to thy heart : obtain for us that we may be 
humble, detached from the world, resigned to the Divine 
will ; obtain us the holy fear of God, a good death, and 
Paradise. Oh Lady, change us from sinners into Saints ; 
work this miracle, which will redoimd more to thy honour 
than if thou didst restore sight to a thousand blind per- 
sons, or didst raise a thousand from the dead. Thou art 
so powerful with God, we need only say that thou art His 
^Mother, His beloved one. His most dear one, filled with 
His grace. What can He ever deny thee? Oh most 
beautiful Queen, we luive no pretensions to see thee on 
earth, but we do desire to go to see thee in Paradise ; and 
it is thou who must obtain us this grace. For it we hope 
with confidence. Amen, amen. 



Marj/ was tlie Queen of Martyrs, for her martyrdom was 
longer and greater than that of all the Martyrs. 

MHO can ever have a heart so hard that it will not 
melt on hearing the most lamentable event which 
once occurred in the world. There was a noble and holy 
Mother, who had an only Son. This Son was the most 
amiable that can be imagined — innocent, virtuous, beau- 
tiful, who loved His Mother most tenderly ; so much so 

*32 § 


that Ha had never caused her the least displeasme, bat 
had ever shown her all respect, obedience, and affection : 
hence this Mother had placed all her affections on earth in 
this Son. Hear then what happened. This Son, through, 
envy, was falsely accused by his enemies; and though the 
Judge knew, and Himself confessed that He was innocent, 
yet, that He might not offend His enemies, he condemned 
Him to the ignominious death thatthey had demanded. This 
poor Mother had to suffer the grief of seeing that amiable 
and beloved Son imjustly snatched from her in the flower 
of His age by a barbarous death ; for, by dint of torments, 
and drained of all His blood, He was made to die on an 
infamous gibbet, in a public place of execution, and this 
before her own eyes. 

Devout souls, what say you ? Is not this event, and is 
not this unhappy Mother worthy of compassion P Ton al- 
ready understand of whom I speak. This Son, so <aiielly 
executed, was our loving Bedeemer Jesus ; and this Mother 
was the Blessed Virgin Mary, who for the love she bore us 
was willing to see Him sacrificed to Divine Justice by the 
barbarity of men. This great torment then which Mary 
endured for us, a torment which was more than a thousand 
deaths, deserves both our compassion and our gratitude. 
If we can make no other return for so much love, at least 
let us give a few moments this day to consider the great- 
ness of the sufferings by which Mary became the Queen 
of martyrs ; for the suffeiings of her great martyrdom 
exceeded those of all the martyrs ; being in the first place 
the longest in point of duration ; and in the second place, 
the greatest in point of intensity. 

First Foint, — k.% Jesus is called the King of sorrows, 
and the King of martyrs, because He suffered during His 
life more than all other maityrs, so also is Mary with 
reason called the Queen of martyrs, having merited this 
title by suffering the most cniel martyrdom possible after 
that of her Son. Hence, with reason, was she called by 
Bichard of Saint Lawrence, ' The martyr of martyrs ;' and 
of har can the words of Isaias with all truth be said: 

DOLOUBS 09 MASt. 879 

**He ynXk crown thee with a crown of tribulation ;** * 
that is to sa J, that that suffering itseif, which exceeded the 
soiFeTiiig of all the other martyrs miited, was the crown by 
whi<^ she was shown to be the Qneen of martyrs. That 
Mary was a true martyr cannot be donbted, as Denis the 
Oaithnsian, Palbart, Catharinus, and others ]Mrove; for it is 
an nndonbted opinion, that suffering sufficient to cause 
death is martyrdom, even though death does not ensue 
from it. Saint John the Erangetist is revered as a martyr 
though he did not die in the caldron of boiling oil, but 
* came out more vigorous than he went in.*^ Saint Thomas 
says, ' that to have the glory of martyrdom it is sufficient 
to exercise obedience in its highest degree, that is to say, 
to be obedient unto death.' * * Mary was a martyr,' says 
Saint Bernard, * not by the sword of the executioner, but 
by bitter sorrow of heart.'* K her body was not wounded 
by the hand of the executioner, her blessed heart was trans- 
fixed by a sword of grief at the passion of her Son, grief 
which was sufficient to have caused her death, not once, 
but a thousand times. From this we shall see that Maiy 
was not only a real martyr, but that her martyrdom sur- 
passed all others, for it was longer than that of all others, 
and her whole life may be said to have been a prolonged 

• The passion of Jesus,' as Saint Bernard says, * com- 
BMDoed with His birth.' ^ So also did Mary, in all things 
Hke unto her Son, endure her martyrdom throughout her 
Ufa. Amongst other signifiealaoni of the naMe 6f Mary, 
as Blessed Albert the Great asserts, is that of ' a bitter 
sea.' Hence to her is applicable the text of Jeremias : 
" Great as the sea is thy destruction."^ For as the sea is 
all bitter and salt, so also was the life of Mary always full 
of bitterness at the sight of the passion of the Bedeemer, 

1 Coronans roronabit tetribnlatione. — Is. xxii, 18. 

* Vegetior exiretit, qnam intrarerit. — Brev. JEom. vi MaiL 

' Martvrinm complectitiu id qaod Bunmiam in obedientht esse potest, lit 
■eiKcet aliqiiis sit oboliens usque ad mortem. — 9, 3, Q. cxxiv, art. 3, ad. 2. 

* Nou ferrocamificiB, sed acerbo dolore cordis, t 

' A natiritatis exordio, passio crucis simul exorta.— J!nm. ii, dc Pom. t 

* Ifagna est enim relot maxe ccmtritio ttta.— TIkrm. % IS. 


which was ever present to her miiuL ' There can be no 
doubt, that, enlightened by the Holy Ghost in afar higher 
degree than all the prophets, she far better than they 
understood the predictions recorded by them in the sacred 
Scriptores concerning the Messias.' This is precisely 
what the angel reveded to Saint Bridget ;^ and he also 
added, ' that the Blessed Virgin, even before she became 
His Mother, knowing how much the Incarnate Word was 
to suffer for the salvation of men, and compassionating 
this innocent Saviour, who was to be so cruelly put to 
death for crimes not His own, even then began her great 
martyrdom.' ^ 

Her grief was immeasurably increased when she became 
the MoUier of this Saviour; so that at the sad sight of the 
many torments which were to be endured by her poor 
Son, she indeed suffered a long martyrdom,^ a martyrdom 
which lasted her whole life. This was signified with great 
exactitude to Saint Bridget in a vision which she had in 
Home, in the church of Saint Mary IVIajor, where the 
Blessed Virgin with Saint Simeon, and an angel bearing 
ii very long sword, reddened with blood, appeared to her, 
denoting thereby the long and bitter grief which trans- 
j)ierced the heart of Mary during her whole life.* Whence 
the abovenamed Bupert supposes Mary thus speaking: 
' Bedeemed souls, and my beloved children, do not pity 
me only for the hour in which I beheld my dear Jesus 
expiring before my eyes; for the sword of sorrow pre- 
dicted by Simeon pierced my soul during the whole of my 
life: when I was giving suck to my Son, when I was 
warming Him inmy arms, I already foresaw the bitter death 
that awaited Him. Consider, then, what long and bitter 
sorrows I must have endured.' ^ 

^ Froculdabio est credeodum, quod ex inspirationc Spiritna Sancti ipsa per- 
fectius iutellexit, quicqiiid prophetarum eloquia tigui-abant. — Serm. Jng. cap. xviL 

> £x prophetarum acriptuns Deum incarnari velle iutelligens, et quod tani 
diversis poenis in came assumpta dcberet cruciari, tribulatioucni protiuus ncn 
modicam ... in corde suo sustinuit. — lb. cap. xu. 

* Tu q^uoque longum in cogitationibus tuis preescia futunc passionis Filii tui, 
pertulisti mart^ium. — ^lib. iii, in CatU. c. 4. 

* Rev. lib. vu, cap. 1. 

^ Nolite solam attendere horam vel diem illam, qua vidi talcm dilectum ab im- 

DOtotRSf ot^AA'i: 3*1' 

'"My life is wasted with '^rM\ lAhi %' j'eafs'iii'=y%Kfe'.'^^ 
'^My mrtbvfi^ contihudfy before itre." ^ * Mjr' Viffiolfe' fif^ 
wAs Spetli iii' sdrtow and'ih teati;' foi^ mi sdfrb^; wHldH 
W8L« cotnpassiori for my beldved S6n, never ddpaft^d ttWtf 
. be^iteitiy eyes, ai^ I always foresawtbe ^tifferin^ arid deatli 
WWcft He was- otie day to endure/ The'Bivirie Mother 
lfer*elf tevealed t6 Saint Bridget, that 'even after the 
fleafh £tnd aseensifcrri of her Son, whether she ate, dt 
t^oriftd, the remembrance of Hi^ passion was ever deeply 
ifttpres^dd on her mind, and fresh in her tender Tieart.' ' 
Henee Tanler says, * that the most Blessed Virgin spent 
Bfer t^kjld liife in cotitinnal borrow ;'* for her heart was 
^d^ays occupied with sadness and Si^rth suffering. 

Tfefetelbre time, which usually mitigates the sorrows of 
Ih6' afflicted, did! not reliete Maty ; nay, even it increased 
heif feorrowj for, ns Jesus, on the one hand, advanced in 
age, and alti^stys appeared more and more beautiful and 
toiable, so also, on the other hand, the time of His death 
atW^^B dtew nearer, and grief always increased in the 
teart of Mary, at the thought of having to lose Him on 
efttth. So that, in the words addressed by the angel to 
8alftf ifefidget : ' As the rose grows' up amongst thorns, 
so the Mother of God advanced in years in the midst of 
Stfffei'lilg^ ; and as the thorns increase with the growth of 
the f 0^^, so Also did the thorris of het sorrows increase in 
Itfary, thfe chosen rose of the Lord, as she advanced in 
age i arid So much the more deeply did they pierce het 
fte&rt.'^ Havitig now considered the length of this sol*- 

f iia compr^hfinaiun male tra£tari . . . luori et sepeliri. Nam tune qtudem gladiua, 
animam meam pertraneivit ; sed antequam sic pertransiret, longuiu per me trans- 
itum fecit . . . Cvan. igitur carne mea alitor proeeniituii, talefn I'iliim timi mM» 
foverem, iiliusgestareiu, uberibaa lactareni, ettaleniejuafatuTam mortiem sduper 

Site octtlis Iiat)ercm . . . qualem, quantam, qiiam proKJtam me putatia materni 
oloris pcrtulisse paasioiiera ?— Lib. i, in Cant. c. 1. 
1 Deiecit in 3olore vita mea, et anni mei in gemitibns. — Ps. xxx, 11. 
■'• * Et doldr meu8 in conspectu meo semper.— P*. xxxvii, 18. 

• Omni tempore qiiod post ascensionem Illii mei vbd . . . passio sua in coxde 
itea fbca erat, quod srre eomedtniam, sive laborabam, quasi recens crat in memoria 
aiea. — Ret. lib. vi, c. 61. 

♦ Beatissima Virgo pro tota vita fecit profeaaionem dolciria.— Fi^ CHr. c. 18. t 

* Sictxt tosa ereacetfe tolet Inter spinas, ita heec venerabilifl Virgo in hoc miutdo 

xmi i^r ipqiujk ^rf dwi^Uoin, , kt i^ p99s , to tl^Q se<?q5riTVi»t — 
its g];eaine$3 in poinjb. of ijoteu^ity. 
,/tSeco7id JPoint.-^-AhfMoxy was not only Queen of JAar- 
iys^t because hex maxtyrdom was loiter tban th^t of all 
oithersj.but also> because it was the greatest of all ijiartyr- 
doms. Who, however, can measure its greatness? Jeremias 
seems unable to find any one with whom he can compare 
this Mother of Sorrows, when, he considers her great suf* 
ferings at the death of her Son. ' To what shall I com- 
pare thee ? or to wliat shall I liken thee, 0. daughter of 
Jerusalem ? . . . for great as the sea is thy destruction ; who 
shall heal thee ? "^ Wherefore, Cardinal Hugo, in a com- 
mentaiy on these words, says, 'Oh Blessed Virgin, ms 
the sea, in bitterness, exceeds all other bitterness, so does 
thy grief exceed all other grief. '^ Hence, Saint Ansehn 
asserts, that ' had not God, by a special miracle prederved 
the life of Mary, in each moment of her life, her grief 
was such that it would have caused her deatL'^ Saint 
Bemardine of Sienna goes so far as to say, 'that the 
grief of Mary was so great, that were it divided amongst 
all men, it would suffice to cause their immediate death.'* 
But let us consider the reasons for which Mary's mar- 
tyrdom was greater than that of all martyrs. In the iirst 
place, we must remember that the martyrs endured their 
torments, which were the effect of fire and other material 
agencies, in their bodies ; Maiy suffered hers in her soul, 
as Saint Simeon foretold : " And thy own soul a sword 
shall pierce." 5 As if the holy old man had said. : * Oh mg^t 

oi'erit inter thbiilaticmeB. £t quemadoiodam quonto rosa in csescendo 09 plv^ 
delatat, tanto fortior, et acutior spina elftcitur, ita et' hsec electisaima rosa Maiia 
qnanto plus eetate crescebat, tanto fortioram tribulationum spinis atiiititts "j^unge- 
batur. — Serm. Jug. cap. xvi. , 

i Cui comparabo te r vel cui assimilabo te, filia Jerusalem? cni exrequabote . , . 
ma^itt est enitn velutmare contritio tua-. (luis medelntar toi? — 'l^re»i ii, 13. v 

'^ Qucmadmoduiu mare est in amaritudine excellens, Ita tuse cqntritipm nulla 
calamitns tfiquari potest. ' ' 

' 3 Utiqiie ])ia lioniim, nou rredidnim te pptuisse ullo paetp,>sti|i^iij(QB.t|^ti 
eruciatus, quin vitam amitteres sustinere, nisi Ipse Spiritus Vitie, Spiritus con- 
aolationisj JSpiritus scilicet Ihilrissimi tui Filii , , . te confortaret. — DcExqcl, V. 

i^ap. v.: ' ; ' 

' * Vif-gihis dolor timt major, et plus quam omnes creatuwe mundi 'pos*eftt;p<S**il*, 
,in tantuni, quod si ille dolor forct pai-titus et divisus, inter omnes creatutMrnU^ 
H-iVAles, ciiflerent mortute.— S'lWn. in die Vmei-isS. p.'ii. ■ ■ ' ■ • 

^ Et tuam ipsius animam pertransibit gladius.— Zmc. ii, 35. ' '" •' ^''''' ' ''' 


d^cred "Virgin, the botlies of cfther mftrtyi^s wiD h6 torn 
with iron, but thou wilt be transfixed, and martyred ih 
thy soul by the Passion of thine xiwn Son.* Notr, as' the 
soul is more noble than the body, s<> much greater wer6 
Mary's sufferings than those of all the martyrs, as Jesus 
Christ Himself said to Saint Catherine of Sienna : 'Be- 
tween the sufferings of the soul and those of the body, 
there is no comparison.' Whence the holy Abbot Arnold 
of Chartres says, 'that whoever had been present on 
Mount Calvary, to witness the great sacrifice of the Im- 
maculate Lamb, would there have beheld two great altars, 
the one in the body of Jesus, the other in the heart of 
Mary ; for, on that mount, at the same time that the Son 
sacrificed His body by, death, Mary sacrificed her soul by 

* Moreover,' says Saint Antoninus, ' while other mar* 
tyrs suffered by sacrificing their own Kves, the Blessed 
Virgin suffered by sacrificing her Son's life — a life that she 
loved far more than her own ; so that she not only suffered 
in her soul all that her Son endured in His body ; but, 
moreover, the sight of her Son's torments brought more 
grief to her heart than if she had endured them all in her 
own person. No one can doubt that Mary suffered in 
heart all the outrages which she saw in^cted on her 
beloved Jesus. Any one can understand, that the suffer- 
ings of children are also those of their mothers who witness 
them. Saint Augustine, considering the anguish endured 
by the "mother of the Macchabees, in witnessing the tortures 
of her sons, says, ' She, seeing their sufferings, suffered 
in each one ; because she loved them all, she endured in 
her soul what they endured in their flesh/^ Thus also did 
Mary suffer all those torments, scourges, thorns, uaLU» 
and the cross, which tortured the innocent flesh of Jesus, 
all entered at the same time into the heart of this Blessed 

^ Kiniirum intabernaculo iDo, duo videres altoria, aliud inpertore Mnrise^ aliud 
iaooKDore QviMti : Christiu cameiu, Maria imtuolabat aniraaiu,— T'r. d< vk Tprb. 

* nia ridendo in omnibus pnssa eat ; qiiia atuabat omnes, ferebat it) octilis quod 
in came omnes. t 


Yirgm, to icomplete h^ martyrdom. ^ H^ suffieiiCid ifi t^ 
flesh, and she in her heart/ ^ writer the Blepsed J^jsia^fsa^. 
* So much so,' says Saint Lawrence Justinian, * tb^ tljie 
heart of Mary became, as it were, a mirror oi the Fission 
of tlie Son, in whidi might be 8ee^, faithfully reflected, the 
spitting, the blows and wounds, and all tjbuat Jesus suf- 
fered.'^ Saint Bonaventure also remarks, that 'those 
wounds whidi were scattered over the body <^ our Lord, 
were all united in the single heart of Mary.'^ 

Thus was our blessed Lady, through the compassioii of 
her loving heart for her Son, scourged, crowned with 
thorns, insulted a^ud nailed to the cross. Whence the 
same Saint, considering Mary on Mount Calvary, present 
at the death of her Son, questions her in these words : 
' O Lady, teU me where didst thou stand ? Was it only 
at the foot of the cross ? Ah, moich more tha^ this, thou 
wast on the cross itsejLf, cruciiied with thy Son.'^ Eichard 
of Saint Lawrence, on the words of the Eedeemer, spoken 
by Isaias the prophet : " I haye trodden the wine-pres? 
alone, aud of the .Gentiles there is not a man with me,"^ 
says, * It is true, O Lord, that in the work of human re- 
demption. Thou didst suffer alone, and that there was not 
a man who sufficiently pitied Thee ; but there was a woman 
with Thee, ^d she was Thine own Mother ; she suffered 
in her heart aU that Thou didst endure in Thy body.'^ 

But all this is sayiflg too little of Mary's soiyows, since, 
as I have already observed, she suffered more in witness- 
ing the sufferings of her beloved Jesus, than if ^e had 
herself endured all the outrages and death of her Son. 
Erasmus, speaking of parents in general, says, that 'they 

^ Ille came, ilia corde ^sa est. — Bom. x. 

s Clarissimiun passiouis Christi speculum, effectuin era,t cor Virginis, necnon 
et perfects mortis ima^. tn illo ajnioscebantnr sputa, convitia, verbera, et 
Aedemptoris vulnera. — lip triumpali C. Agone cap. xxi. 

* Ejus vulnera per corpus ejus dispeisa, sunt m corde tuo unita. — Stim. Am, 
p. i, c. 8. 

^ Domina mea, ubi stabas ? Numquid tantum juxta crucem ? Imo certe in 
cruce cum Filio ibi crucifixa eras secum. — lb. 

* Torcular calcavi solus, et de gentibus non est vir mecum. — If. Ixiii, 3. 

* Verum est Domine, quod non est vir tecum : sed mulier una tecum est, mue 
omnia vulnera quae tu suscepisti in coi-pore, stiscepit vx corde. — Ik J/md. V.l. i, 
c. 5. 


are more cruelly tormented by their children's sufFerings 
ihoxi by their own.'* This is not alwayft true, but in Mary 
it evidently was so ; for it la certain that she loved her Son, 
and His Hfe, beyond all comparison more than herself, 
or a thousand fives of her own. Therefore, Blessed 
Amadeus rightly affirms, that ' the afflicted Mother, at the 
sorrowful sight of the torments of her beloved Jesus, suf- 
fered far more than she would have done had she herself 
endured His whole Passion/ 2 The reason is evident ; for, 
as Saint Bernard says, * The soul is more where it loves 
than where it lives/* Our Lord Himself had already said 
the same thing : " Where our treasure is there also is our 
heart.' ^ If Mary, then, by love, lived more in her Son 
than in herdelf, she must have endured fhr greater tor- 
ments in the sufferings and death of her Son than she 
would have done had the most cruel death In the if^orld 
been inflicted upon her. 

Here we must reflect on another circumstance which 
rendered the martyrdom of Mary, beyond all comparison, 
greater than the torments of aU the martyrs : it is, that in 
the Passion of Jesus she suffered much, and she suffered 
moreover without the least alleviation. The martyrs suf- 
fered imder the torments inflicted on them by tyrants, but 
the love of Jesus rendered their pains sweet and agreeable. 
A Saint Vincent was tortured on a rack, torn with pincers, 
burnt with red hot iron plates ; but, as Saint Augustine re- 
marks, *It seemed as if it was one who suffered, and another 
who spoke.* The Saint addressed the tyrant with such energy 
and contempt for his torments, that it seemed as if one 
"Vincent suftered and another spoke ; so greatly did God 
strengthen him with the sweetness of His love, in the 
midst of all he endured. A Saint Boniface had his body 
torn with iron hooks; sharp-pointed reeds were thrust 
between his nails and flesh ; melted lead was poured into 

^ Parentes kixociut torquentnr in liberiSjquamin seipsis. — labell. deMaehab. t 

• Torquebatur (Maria) magis, quasi toroueretnr ex se, quoniam supra »e in- 
comparaoiliter diligebat id unae dolebat. — uom. v de Laud. V. 

* Anima maeis est ubi amat, quam ubi animat. t 

^ IJbi enim tnesaurus vester est, ibi et cor vestrnm erit.— '£ifff- xii, 84. 



hoB nuMitb ; and, in i^e midst of bU, he could not tire 
saying, * I give Thee thonlcs, O Lord Jesus IJhrist.' A 
SiODt Mflirk, a^d ft ^int Mfircelfinus, were bound to a 
stake, their feet pierced with nails ; and when the tyrant 
jiddressed them, saying, 'Wretches, see to what a state 
yCHi are reduced, save yourselves firom the^fe torments/ 
they answered : ' Of what pains, of what torments dost 
thou speak ? We n^ver enjoyed so luxurious a banquet 
as in the present moment, in which we joyfiiUy suffer for 
the love of Jesus Christ/* A Saint Lawrence suffered ; 
but when roasting on the gridiron, *the interior flame of 
love,' says Saint Leo, ' was - more powerful in consoling 
his soul, than the flame withont in torturing his body/^ 
Hence, love r^idered him so courageous, that he mocked 
the tyrant, saying : * If thou desirest to feed on my flesh, 
a part is snfficieixtiy roasted, turn it and eat/^ But how, 
in the midst of so many torments, in that prolonged death, 
could the Saint thus rejoice ? * Ah ! ' replies Saint Angus- 
tine, 'inelmated with the wine of Divme love, he felt 
neither torments nor death/ ^ 

So that the more the holy martyrs loved Jesus, the less 
did th^ feel their torments and death; and the sight 
alone of the sufferings of a crucified God was sufficient 
to console them. But was our suflfering Mother also 
oonsded by love for her Son, and the sight of His tor- 
ments ? Ah no, for this very Son who suffered was the 
whde cause of them, and the love she bore Him was her 
only and most cruel executioner ; for Mary's whole martyr'^ 
dom consisted in beholding and pitying her innocent and 
beloved Son, who suffered so much. Hence, the greiat^ 
was her love for Him) the more bitter and incon^kblfe 
was h^ grief: '* Great as the sea is thy destructioh ; who 

1 Nun^uam taon jaoamle epnkti snniiis, qtiom com l»e Ebtfhtet leiM 'ChrisU 
amorc perfenzntu. 

* Segniior fait i^nis qui foris ussit, qnam qui iatus aocendit;— /» ^to S. Liwt. 

' Assatum est jam, vena etmonducft. '■ ' u * 

^ luillA . . . ionj^ mortc, in iiiis tomietitis, quLi f>etfe m&ndiicayerat et.Disne 
UOiernt. tnni^am lUa esca «afinatiiii et ilia cmlice ebntrs, tormehta qon ieo^tJ 
'-Trar/. xxwi l /I Joan. £r. ' 

s}iaU jieal, tl^ec; P',^, A)i Q,ue6u of Keav^ui kve JlhatiiJiinitik^ 
gated tl^^ ^u&w^wQf other; mairtyjs, and iiebled^^itbeiF 
wounds J but. )vJio.. bath .c,ver soothed thy. bMedr gmeif? 
Who hath ey^r' healed the ioQ cni^ wounds of /th|f ihrairti? 
''Who shaU. h^al.the^". eisucfi thatveiy Son^who ooUld 
give thee coiisolatioQx wa9«>l)y His. suffeariuga^ thei;oiify 
cause of thine ; ^d the love which thou didat beac Uim 
was the.who^e ingredient of tby mavtyrdom. So t&at» as 
other martyrs, as Diez remarks, are. all rqiresented with 
the instruments of their 8ufferings,r-a Saint Paul with a 
sword, a S^t Andrew with a cross, a Saint Lawrence 
with a gridiron-:-Maty k represented with her dead Sen 
in her arms ; for Jesus Himself, and He alone, was the in- 
strument pf her martyrdom^ by reason. of the love shebose 
llim>. Bichard of Saint Victor confirms^ in a few words, 
all that I, have now said : ' In other maiityrs, the^eatatoss 
of their love sooth^ the pains of tbeijr. martyrdom, but in 
the Blessed Virgin, the greater was her love, the greater 
were her sufferings— rthe more aruel was her martyrdom.' - 
It is certain, that the more we love a thing the greater 
is the pain we feel in losing it. We are more afflicted at 
the loss of 9, brother than at that of a beast of burden ; 
we are more grieved at the loss of a son than at that of a 
irieud. Now, Comeliu^ a Lapide says, ' that to under- 
stand tbe greatness of IVlaiy's grief at the death of her 
Sou, we must understand the greatness of the love she 
bore Hipif'^ But who can ever measure that love? Blessed 
Amadeus says, that 'in the heart of Mary were united two 
kinds of love for her Jesus-— supernatural love, by which 
she loved Him as her God; and natural love, by which she 
loved Him as her Son.'* So that these two loves became 
one ; but so immense a love, that William of Paris even 

^ Magna est enim velut mare contritio tua : quis medebitur tui ? — 77tr«n. ii, 13. 

3 In laartynbitf, nuimutlido amoria, doiorem lenivit paasicmis; sed Beata 
Virgo, quanto plus amavit, tanto plu& doluit, tantoque ipsius luartyrhim graviiis 
fuit. — /h Canf. cap. xxvi. ^ 

3 tJi Bcias quantus fuerii dolor B. Yirgiiiis, cogita quantus fuerit amor. 

* nu«2 dileotiones in uoam convenenmt, et ex duobiu amonbns fiictuw est 
Muor wins, cuiu Tirgo Hater HKo Dirioitatis aniorem impenderet, et in Dty> 
amoreni nato exTiiberet. — Ifom. v de Laud. V. 


says, tkat tke Blessed Virgin ' loved Him as mucli as it 
was possible for a pure creature to loTe Him.^ Hence^ 
Eichard of Saint Victor affirms, that, * As there was no 
love like her love, so th»e was no sorrow like her sorrow.'^ 
And if the love of Mary towards her Son was immense, 
immense also must have been hor grief in losing Him by 
death i ' Where there is tke greatest love^' says Blessed 
Albert the Great, * there also is the greatest gnef.'^ 

Let us now imagine to outselves, the Divine Mother 
standing near her Son, expiring on the cross, and justly 
applying to herself the words of Jeremias, thus addressing 
us : '* Oh all ye that pass by the way attend, and see if 
there be any sorrow like to my sorrow."* O you, who 
spend your lives upon earth, and pity me not, stop awhile 
to look at me, now that I behold this beloved Son dying 
b^re my eyes ( and then see, if amongst all those who 
are afflioted and tormented, a sorrow is to be found like 
unto my sorrow. ' No^ oh most suffering of all Mothers,' 
replies Saint Bonaventure ; 'no more bitter grief than thine 
can be found ; for no son mors dear than thine can be 
found.'' Ah, 'there never was a more amiable Son in 
the world than Jesus,' says Eieh^rd of Saint Lawrence ; 
' nor has there ever been a Mother who more tenderly loved 
her -son than Mary 1 But since there never has been in 
the world a love like unto Mary's love, how can any sor- 
row be found like unto Mary' sorrow? '• 

Therefore Saint Ildephonsus did not hesitate to assert 
that, 'To say that Mary's sorrows were greater than all 
the torments of the martyrs united, was to say too little. '7 

1 Qaantiim eapere potuit pttri hominis modus. 

A Unde ticut hon tuit amor, sieut amor ejus, ita nee fmt dolor qimilis dolor i 
ejus. — In CatU. cap. xxvi. 

* Ubi snmmus anunr, ibi suAmus dolor, t 

* vos omnes qui transitis per viam, attendite, et videte si est dolor sicut dolor 
me^s.— Z%rtfH. j, 13. 

' NuUus dolor amarior. 
Nam nulla proles charior. — Hymnde Compass. B.M. V, 

* Non fiiit talis Filius, non fuit talis Mater ; non fuit tanta charitafl, sicut inter 
matrem et filium, non fuit tarn indigua mors, non fuit dolor taiitus . . . Ideo 
quapto dilexit tenerius, tauto vulnerata est profondios. — lie Laud. V. 1. iii, o, 12. 

7 Paruiu est Mariain in passione IlUi tarn acerbos pertulisse dolores, ut 
omnium martyrum collective tormenta superaret. — Ap. Sinisc. Mf^rt. 4% Mar. 
Cons, xxxvi. t 


And Saint Anselm adds, that * the most ciiiel tortures in- 
flicted on the holy martyrs were trifling, or as nothing in 
comparison with the martyrdom of Mary/^ Saint Basil of 
Seleucia also writes, *that as the sun exceeds all the other 
planets in splendour, so did Mary's suiferings exceed those 
of all the other martyrs.' ^ A learned author ' concludes 
with a beautiful sentiment : he says, that so great was the 
sorrow of this tender Mother in the Passion of Jesus that 
she alone compassionated in a degree by any means ade- 
quate to its merits the death of a God made man. 

But here Saint Bonaventure, addressing this blessed 
Virgin, says : * And why, oh Lady, didst thou also go to 
sacrifice thyself on Calvary ? Was not a crucified God 
sufficient to redeem us, that thou His Mother, wouldst 
also go to be crucified with Him?'* Indeed the death 
of Jesus was more than enough to save the world, and an 
infinity of worlds ; but this good Mother, for the love she 
bore us, wished also to help the cause of our salvation 
with the merits of her sufferings, which she ofl^ered for us 
on Calvary. Therefore Blessed Albert the Great says, 
* that as we are under great obligations to Jesus for His 
Passion endured for our love, so also are we under great 
obligations to Marj- for the martyrdom which she volun- 
tarily suffered for our salvation in the death of her Son,' ^ 
I say voluntarily, since, as Saint Agnes revealed to Saint 
Bridget, *Our compassionate and benign Mother was 
satisfied rather to endure any torment than that our souls 
should not be redeemed, and be left in their former state 
of perdition.' ^ And, indeed, we may say that Mary's only 
relief in the midst of her great sorrow, in the Passion of 
her Son, was to see the lost world redeemed by His death, 

1 Quidquid enim cradeUtatia inflictnm est corporibus martyrma leve fuit aut 
potiiu nmU, comparatione tuee passionis. — D9 Excel. V. cap. r. 
» Oral, in S. Dei Gen. see page 378, note 6.. 
' Father Finamonti. 

* Domina cnr ivisti iminolari pro nobis : Num^uid non suffidebat Filiipassio 
nobis, nisi cracifigeretar et Mater r—5^tm. Jm. P. i, cap. 3. 

* Sicat totiis mimdiis obli^tur Deo per snam pussionem ita et Dominse omnium 
per oonipassionem. — Stip. Missus. Resp. ad. Q. cxlviii. 

« Sic jjia et misericors fait, et est, et malxiit omnes tribnlationes sxifferrc, quam 
quod anunie non redimerentnr.— ^<rr. lib. iii. c. SO. 


and men who were His enemies reconciled with God. 

* While grieving, she rejoiced,' says Simonde Cascia, * that 
a sacrifice was offered for the redemption of all, by which 
He who was angry was appeased.' ^ 

So great a love on the part of Mary deserves our grati- 
tude, and that gratitude should be shown by at least 
meditating upon and pitying her in her sorrows. But 
she complained to Saint Bridget that veiy few did so, 
and that the greater part of the world lived in forgetfulness 
of them : ' I look around at all who are on earth, to see, 
if by chance there are any who pity me, and meditate 
upon my sorrows, and I find that there are very few. 
Therefore, my daughter, though I am forgotten by many, 
at least do thou not forget me ; consider my anguish, and 
imitate as far as thou canst my grief.' ^ To imdersfand 
how pleasing it is to tl}e Blessed Virgin, that we should 
remember her dolours, we need only know, that in the 
year 1289 she appeared to seven devout clients of hers, 
(who were afterwards foimders of the religious order of 
the Servants of Mary), with a black garment in her hand, 
and desired them if they wished to please her often to 
meditate on her sorrows ; for this purpose, and to remind 
them of her sorrows, she expressed her desire that in 
future they should wear that mourning dress.^ Jesus 
Christ Himself revealed to the blessed Veronica da Binasco 
that He is, as it were, more pleased, in seeing His Mother 
compassionated than Himself; for thus He addressed her : 

* My daughter, tears shed for My Passion arc dear to Me ; 
but as I love my Mother Mary with an immense love, the 
meditation of the torments which she endured at My 
death is even more agreeable to Me.' * 

Wherefore the graces promised by Jesus to those who 
are devoted to the dolours of Maiy are very great. Pel- 

1 Lstabatur dolens, quod offerebatur sacrificium in redemptionem omnium* 
quo nlacabatur iratus.— Z)« Gest. D. 1. 3, c. 27. + 

f Eespicio ad onines qui in mundo sunt, si forte sint aliqui oui compatiantur 
mihi, et reco^iteut dolorem meum, et ralde paucos invenio . . . Ideo iiUa mea licet 
a multis oblita, et neglecta sim, tu tanien non obliviscaris me ; vide doloiem 
meum, et imitare quantum potcs. — JUt. lib. ii, c. 24. 

» Gian. Cent. Sen. 1. 1, c. 14. t ♦ Ap. BoUand. xiii Jan. 



bert ^ relates, that it was revealed to Saint Elizabeth, that 
after the assumption of the Blessed Virgin into heaven 
Baint John the Evangelist desired to see her again. The 
favour was granted him; his dear Mother appeared to 
him, and with her Jesus Christ also appeared ; the Saint 
then heard Mary ask her Son to grant some special grace 
to all those who are devoted to her dolours. Jesus pro- 
mised her four principal ones : 1st, That those who before 
death invoke the Divine Mother in the name of her sorrows 
should obtain true repentance of all their sins. 2nd, That 
He would protect all who have this devotion in their tri- 
bulations, and that He would protect them especially at 
the hour of death. 3rd, That He would impress upon 
their minds the remembrance of His Passion, and that 
they should have their reward for it in heaven. 4th, That 
He would commit such devout clients to the hands of 
Mary, with the power to dispose of them in whatever 
manner she might please, and to obtain for them all the 
graces she might desire. In proof of this let us see, in 
the following example, how greatly devotion to the dolours 
of Mary aids in obtaining eternal salvation. 


In the revelations of Saint Bridget^ we read that there 
was a rich man, as noble by birth as he was vile and sinful 
in his habits. He had given himself, by an express com- 
pact, as a slave to the devil; and for sixty successive 
years had served him, leading such a life as may be 
imagined, and. never approaching the sacraments. Now 
this Prince was dying ; and Jesus Christ, to show him 
mercy, commanded Saint Bridget to tell her confessor to 
go and mit him, and exhort him to confess his sins. The 
confessor went, and the sick man said that he did not 
require confession, as he had often approached the sacra- 
ment of penance. The priest went a second time ; but 

1 stellar, lib. iii, p. 3, a. 8. t » Bet. Ub. vi, c. 97. 


this poor slave of hell persevered in his obstinate deter- 
mination not to confess. Jesus again told the Saint to 
desire the confessor to return. He did so ; and on this 
third occasion told the sick man the revelation made to 
the baint, and that he had returned so many times because 
our Lord, who wished to show him mercy, had so ordered. 
On hearing this the dying man was touched, and began 
to weep : *But how,' he exclaimed, * can I be saved ; I, who 
for sixty years have served the devil as his slave, and have 
my soul burthened with innumerable sins ?' ' My son»' 
sAiswered the Father, encoiuraging him, 'doubt not; if 
you repent of them, on the part of God I promise yon 
pardon.' Then, gaining confidence, he said to the con- 
fesssor : ' Father I looked upon myself as lost, and already 
despaired of salvation; but now I feel a sorrow for my 
sins, which gives me confidence ; and since God has not 
yet abandoned uie I will make my confession.' In fact, he 
made his confession four times on that day, with the 
greatest marks of sorrow, and on the following morning 
received the holy communion. On the sixth day, contrite 
and resigned, he died. After his death Jesus Christ again 
spoke to Saint Bridget, and told her that that sinner was 
saved ; that he was then in purgatory, and that he owed 
his salvation to the intercession of1)he Blessed Virgin His 
Mother ; for the deceased, although he had led so wicked 
a life, had, nevertheless always preserved devotion to her 
dolours, and whenever he thought of them pitied her. 


Oh my afiHicted Mother ! Queen of martyrs and of sor- 
rows, thou didst so bitterly weep over thy Son, who died 
for my salvation ; but what will thy tears avail me if I am 
lost? By the merit, then, of thy sorrows, obtain me true 
contrition for my sins, and a real amendment of life, 
together with constant and tender compassion for the 
sufferings of Jesus, and thy dolours. And if Jesus and 
thou, being so innocent, have suffered so much for love of 


me, obtain, that at least I, who am deserving of hell, may 
suffer something for your love. * O La<^,' will I say with 
Saint Bonaventure, 'if I have offended thee, in justice 
wound my heart : if I have served thee, I now ask wounds 
for my reward. It is shameM to me to see my Lord Jesus 
wounded, and thee wounded with Him, and myself with- 
out a wound. *^ In fine, O my Mother, by the grief thou 
didst experience in seeing thy Son bow down His head 
and expire on the cross in the midst of so many torments, 
I beseech thee to obtain me a good death. Ah, cease not, 
O advocate of sinners, to assist my afflicted soul in the 
midst of the combats in which it will have to engage on 
its great passage from time to eternity. And as it is 
probable that I may then have lost my speech, and 
strength to invoke thy name and that of Jesus, who are 
all my hope, I do so now ; I invoke thy Son and thee to 
succour me in that last moment, and I say — Jesus and 
Mary, to you I commend my soul. Amen. 




Of Saint SimeofCi Prophecy, 

r\ this valley of tears every man is bom to weep, and 
aU must suffer, by enduring the evils which are of daily 
occurrence. But how much greater would the misery of 
life be, did we also know the future evils which await us ! 
• Unfortunate, indeed, would his lot be,' says Seneca, 'who, 

1 Bomina . . . Si te offendi, pro iustitia cor meiun. vnlnera. Si tibi servivi, 
nimc pro mercede peto volnera. . . . Verecundum enim et opprobriosujn est loihi 
videre Dominum meuni Jesiuu ^'uIIlerat^Lm, et te convulneratam Domiaam, et me 
servum vilissimum pertransire illsesum. — Stim. Am. p. i, cap. 3. 

knowing tlie future, would have to suffer all by anticipa- 
tion/ ^ Our Lord shows us this mercy. He conceals tlic 
trials which await us, that, whatever they may be, we^ may 
endure them but once. He did not show Maiy this com- 
passion ; for she, whom God wiQed to be the Queen of 
Sorrows, and in all things like His Son, had to see alwitys 
before her ^es, and continually to suffer, ail the torments 
that awaited her ; and these were, the sufferings of the 
Passion and death of her beloved Jesus : for in the Tem- 
ple, Saint Simeon, having received the Divine Child in his 
arms, foretold to her that that Son would be a mark for 
all the persecutions and oppositions of men. ** Behold 
this Child is set . . . for a sign which shall be contradicted." 
And therefore that a sword of sorrow should pierce her 
soul : "And thy own soul a sword shall pierce."^ 

The Blessed Virgin herself told Saint Matilda, that, on 
this announcement of Saint Simeon, * all her joy was 
changed into sorrow.'* For, as it was revealed to Saint 
Teresa, though the Blessed Mother already knew that the 
life of her Son would be sacrificed for the salvation of the 
world, yet she then learnt more distinctly, and in greater 
detail, the sufferings and cruel death that awaited her poor 
Son. She knew that He would be contradicted, and this 
in every thing : contradicted in His doctrines ; for, instead 
of being believed, He would be esteemed a blasphemer, 
for teaching that He was the Son of God ; this He was 
declared to be by the impious Caiphas, sayinff: ''He 
hath blasphemed, He is guilty of death."* Contradicted 
in His reputation ; for He was of noble, even of royal 
descent, and was despised as a peasant : ** Is not this the 
cai-penter's Son?**^ " Is not this the carpenter, the Son 
of Mary P"^ He was wisdom itself, and was treated as 

1 Calnmitosut asset aninitts fiituri prsesdus, et ante misetiasr miser.— JS^. .t<rmi. 
^ £cce jwsitus est Iiic. . . in siguum cai contradicetur : £t tuam ipsins tmimiMi 
pei-tranaibit gladius. — Ltic. ii, 34, 85. 

* Omnis Intitia mea ad ilia verba in meerorem couversa est f 

* Blasphemavit . . . reus est mortis. — Matth. xxvi, 65, 66. ' 

* Nonne hie est fabri filius ^—Matth. xiii, 55. 

« Nonne hie est, faber, iiliiis Mariic.— J/rtrr. vi, 8. ' ' 

SAINT Simeon's p»opiiecy. 395 

igooraut: .''How doth, thb ^m know letters, iiaviag 
never leariied?" ^ As, a false Prophet : ** And they blind- 
folded Him, and snhote His faee . . , saying : Prophecy, 
who is it that struck Thee ?"^ He was treated as a mad* 
man : " He is naad> why hear you Him ?"^ As a drunkard, 
a glutton, and a friend of sinners : " Behold a man that is 
a glutton, and a drinker of wine, a friend of publicans and 
sinn«cs."* Aa a sorcerer ; "By the prince of devils, He 
casteth out devils." ° As a heretic, and possessed by the 
evil spirit : " Do we not say well of Thee, that Thou art a 
Samaritan, and hast a devil ?"^ In a word, Jesus was 
oonsidered so notorioualy wicked, that, as the Jews said 
to Pilate, no trial was necessary to condemn Him." " If 
He were not a malefactor we would not have delivered 
Him up to thee." 7 He was contradicted in his very soid ; 
for even His Eternal iFather, to give place to Divine Jus- 
tice, contradicted Him, by refudng to hear His prayer, 
when He said, " Father, if it be possible, let this chcdice 
pass from me/'^ and abandoned Him to fear, weariness, 
and sadness ; so that our afficted Lord exclaimed, " My 
soul is sorrowful unto death :"^ and His interior suffer- 
ings even caused Him to sweat blood. Contradicted and 
persecuted, in fine, in His body and in His life ; for He 
was tortured in all His sacred members, in His hands. 
His feet, His face, His head, and in His whole body ; so 
that, drained of His blood, and an object of scorn, He died 
of torments, on an ignominious cross. 

'When David, in the midst of all his pleasures and regal 
griftudeur, heard, £rom the Prophet Nathan, that his son 
should die :-^'* The child that is bom to thee shall surely 

A'QMi^do liielittBnu acit, ram urn (Kdioerit— 7am. vii, 16. 

* £t Telavenmi. eum, et percutiebaiit fitneni cgoa . . . dicentea : Ikopheliii^ quit 
eit, qui te perciurit? — Luc. xxii, 64. 

3 iQsanit : quid eum auditU?— Joan, z, SO. 

* £cce homo devontor» et bibena vvaua. : amicus pnbUeaawnm, et peeeatomm. 
— Xi/c vii, 34. 

^ In principe diemoniorum cjicit dipmoncs. — Maith. ix, 34. 
< Nonue bene diciDuu uos, qma SamaritanUB es tu, et diemonittm habeti F — 
Joan, viii, 48. 
7 Si non esaet liin malefactor, nou tibi tradidisaemua emn.— J'iMif. x\'iii, 90. 
« Pater mi. si possibilc est, trauseat a me calix i*te. — Uattk. xxvi. Z9. 

* Tristis est anima mra unquc ad mortem. — Ih. .S8. 

396 rai8T POLOUB. 

die "^ — h.e eould find no peace, but wept, fasted, and slept 
on the ground. Maiy, with the greatest calmness, recetved 
the announcement that her Son should die, and always 
peacefully submitted to it ; but what grief must she con- 
tinually have suffered, seeing this amiable Son always neur 
her, hearing £rom Him words of etamal life, and witness*^ 
ing His holy demeanour ! Abraham suffered much during 
the three days he passed with Ids beloved Isaao, after 
knowing that he was to lose him. Oh God 1 not for three 
days, but for three and thirty years, had Mary to endure 
a like sorrow. But do I say a like sorrow ? It was as 
much greater as the Son of Mary was more loTely 
than the son of Abraham. The Blessed Virgin herself 
revealed to Saint Bridget, that while on earth there was 
not an hour in which this grief did not pierce her soul : 
' As often,' she continued, ^ as I looked at my Son, as 
often as I wrapped Him in His swaddling clothes, as often 
as I saw His lumds and feet, so often was my soul absorbed, 
so to say, in fresh grief; for I thought how He would 
be cnioyied.'^ The Abbot Bup^ contemplatea Maiy 
suckling her Son, and thus addressing Him : " A bundle 
of myrrh is my beloved to me, He shall abide between my 
breasts."^ Ah Son, I clasp Thee in my arms, because 
Thou art so dear to me ; but the dearer Thou art to me, 
the men dost Thou become a bundle of myrrh and sorrow 
to me, when I think of Thy sufferings. ' Mary/ si^s 
Saint Bemardine of Sienna, ' reflected that the strength of 
the Saints was to be reduced to agony ; the beauty of 
Paradise to be disfigured ; the Lord oi the world to be 
bound as a criminal ; the Creator of all things to be made 
livid with blows; the Judge of all to be condemned; the 
©lory of heaven despised; the King of kings to be crowned 
with thorns, and treated as a mock king.* 

* PSliua, qui natuA est tibi, mortc morietiir.— a Aeo. xji, 14. 


Fasciculus myrrhsB dilectus mens miki, inter "ubera net coAVtosalMtiir. — 
♦ Serm. ii, d« Glor. Norn, B.M. T. art. 8, cap. 1. 

SAINT Simeon's pbophecy. 397 

Father Engelgrave says that it was revealed, to the 
same Saint Bridget, that the afflicted Mother, already 
knowing what her Son was to suifer, * when suckling Him 
thought of the gall and vinegar; when swathing Him, of 
the cords with which He was to be bound ; when bearing 
Him in her arms, of the cross to which He was to be 
nailed; when sleeping, of His death.' * As often as she 
put Him on His garment, she reflected that it would one 
day be torn from Him, that He might be crucified ; and 
when she beheld His sacred hands and feet, she thought 
of the nails which would one day pierce them ; and then, 
as Mary said to Saint Bridget, * my eyes filled with tears, 
and my heart was tortured with grief. '^ 

The Evangdist says, that as Jesus Christ advanced in 
years, so abo did '* He advance in wisdom, and in grace 
with God and men."^ This is to be understood as Saint 
Tliomas^ explains it, that He advanced in wisdom and 
grace in the estimation of men, and before God, in as much 
as all His works would continually have availed to increase 
His merit, had not grace been conferred upon Him from 
the beginning, in its complete fulness, in virtue of the 
hypostatic union. But since Jesus advanced in the love 
and esteem of others, how much more must He have 
advanced in that of Mary ! But, Oh God! as love increased 
in her, so much the more did her grief increase, at the 
thought of having to lose Him by so cruel a death ; and 
the nearer the time of the passion of her Son approached, 
so much the deeper did that sword of sorrow, foretold by 
Saint Simeon, pierce the heart of His Mother. This was 
precisely revealed by the angel to Saint Bridget, saying : 
* That sword of sorrow was eveiy hour approaching nearer 

1 To.i,Ev. Lite. Dom. infr. Oct. NtU. Ko. 1. 1 

* OcuU mei replebnntur lacrymis, et cor meum quan sdndebatur pne tristitia. 
— iK^r. lib. i, eap. x. 

•*» Et JeMis profide1>at aapientia, et retate, et gii^tia apud Pewm et homines.— 
Lvc. ii, 52. 

♦»!». ^. viii. «r/.12. 



to the Blessed Virgin, as the time for the Passion oi her 
Son drew near.'^ 

Since, then, Jesus, our King, and His most holy Mother, 
(lid not refase, for love of na, to suffix sudi cruel pains 
throughout their lives, it is reasonable that we, at least, 
.s liould not complain, if we have to suffer something. Jesus, 
erudfied, once appeared to Sister Magdalen Orsini, a 
Dominicaness, who had been long suffering under a great 
tiial, and encoiuraged her to remain, by means of that afflic- 
tion, with Him on the cross. Sister Magdalen complaiu- 
iiigly answered : ' O Lord, thou wast tovtiu^cd on the a-osj* 
only for three hours, and I have enduretl nxy pain for many 
years.' The Kedeemer then replied : ' Ah, ignorant souL, 
what dost thou say ? from the first moment of my Concep- 
tion, I suffered, in heart, all that I afterwards endured, 
d3ring on the cross.' If, then, we also suffer and complaiB, 
let us imagine Jesus, and His Mother Mary, addressing 
the same words to ourselves. 


Father Roviglione, <rfthe Society of Jesu8,«rekte8, that 
a young man had the devotion of eveiy day visiting a statue 
of Maiy in sorrow, in which she was represented with 
seven swords piercing her heart. The unfortunate youth 
one night committed a mortal sin. The next mornixig, 
going as usual to visit the image, he perceived that th«re 
were no longer only seven, but eight swords in the heart 
of Mary : wondering at this, he heard a voice telling him, 
that his crime had added the eighth. This moved his heart, 
and, penetrated with sorrow, he immediately went to coii- 
fession, and by the intercession of his advocate recovered 
Divine grace. 

1 Ule dolons gladios cordi Vir^s omni liora, tanto se j^ropins ftpproximabat, 
quanto alius dilecttts FiMiu pasnonistempori magis appropinquabat. — Serm. Aug. 

nan xyij. 

Fasc. di Sate, p. 2, c. 3. t 

cau. xvu 



Ah, my Blessed Mother, it is not one sword only with 
which I have pierced thy heart, but I have done so with 
as many as are the sins which I have committed. All, 
Lady, it is not to thee, who art innocent, that sufferings 
are dne, but to me, who am guilty of so many crimes. 
But since thon hast been pleased to suffer so much for mc, 
ah, by thy merits, obtain me great sorrow for my sins, 
and patience under the trials of this life, which will always 
be %ht in comparison with my demerits ; for I have often 
deserred hell. Amen. 

Qfthe Might of Jems into Egypt; 

As the stag, wounded by an arrow, carries the pain 
with him wherever he goes, because he carries with him 
the arrow which has wounded him, so did the Divine 
Mother, after the sad prophecy of Saint Simeon, as we 
have already seen in the consideration of the iirst dolour, 
always carry her sorrow with her, in the continual remem- 
brance of the passion of her Son. Hailgrino, explaining 
this passage of the Canticles, " The hairs of thy head, as 
the purple of the king, bound in the channel,"^ says, that 
these purple hairs were Mary's continual thoughts of the 
passion of Jesus, which kept the blood which was one day 
to flow from His wounds always before her eyes : * Thy 
mind, O Mary, and thy thoughts, steeped in the blood 
of our Lord's passion, were always filled with sorrow, as 
if they actually beheld the blood flowing from His wounds. '^ 
Thus her Son, Himself, was that arrow in the heart of 
Mary, and the more amiable He appeared to her, so much 

1 Et ooiBrt CftpitiB toi, sicut purpura regit, vmcia canalibus.-'-Om^ tH, 5. 

* Mens tua O Maria, et cogitationes ttue tinctse in sanguine Dominiose pw- 
sionis, sic affectce semper fiiere, qurisi reccnter viderent sangvinem <lc vwlnfribuij 
profluentera. — In Cant. I. rit. t 


the more deeply did tlie thought of losing Him by so cniel 
a death, womid her heart. Let us now consider the second 
sword of sorrow, which wounded Mary, in the flight of 
}Ler Infant Jesus into Egypt, from the persecution of Ha:od. 
Herod, having heard that the expected Messiah was 
bom, foolishly fbaied that He would deprive him of his 
kingdom. Hence Saint Fulgentius, reproving him for his 
foUy, thus addresses him: 'Why art thou troubled, 
Herod? this King who is bom, comes not to conquer 
kings by the sword, but to subjugate them wonderfully, 
by His death.' ^ The impious Herod, therefore, waited to 
hear, from the holy Magi, where the King was bom, that 
he might take His life ; but finding himself deceived, he 
ordered all the infants who could be found in the neigh- 
bourhood of Bethlehem to be put to death. Then it was 
that the angel appeared in a ^am to Saint Joseph, and 
desired him to " Arise, and take the Child, and His Mother, 
and fly into Egypt."^ According to Gerson, Saint Joseph 
immediately, on that very night, made the order known to 
Maiy, and taking the Infant Jesus, they set out on their 
journey, as it is sufiiciently evident from the Gospel itself: 
"Who arose and took the Child and His Mother, by 
night, and retired into Egjpt."^ Oh God ! says blessed 
Albert the Great, in the name of Marj*, ' must He then fly 
from men, who came to save men ?'* Then the afflicted 
Mother knew that already the prophecy of Simeon, con- 
cerning her Son, began to be verified : " He is set for a 
sign that shall be contradicted." ° Seeing that He was 
no sooner bora, than He was persecuted unto death, what 
anguish must the intimation of that cruel exile of herself 
and her Son have caused in her heart, writes Saint John 
Chrysostom : * Flee from thy friends to strangers ; from 

1 Quid est quod sic turbaris Ilerodea ? . . . Rex iste, <][ui natus est, noii venit 
Reges pugnaudo superare, ted moriendo mirabiliter subjngare. — Serm. de Spiph. 
€t JfiHoc. nece. 

2 Surge et accipe puenun, et matrem ejus, et fhge in ^gyptiuu. — Matlh. 
ii, 18. 

* Qui consurgens, accepit puerum et Matrem eysa noete, et aecessit in iBg^-p- 
turn. — Ih. 14. 

* Debet f ugere, qui Salvator est mundi ? t 

* Ecce positus est hie ... in signum cui oontradicetor.— Xuc. ii, 34. 


God's tem{^e to the temples of devib. Wluit greater 
tribulation, than that a new-bom child, hanging from its 
Mother's breast, and she too in poverty, should, with Him, 
be forced to fly? '1 

Any one may imagine what Mary must have suffered 
on this journey. To Egypt the distance was great. 
Most authors i^ee that it was three hundred miles; 
so that it was a journey of upwards of thirty days. 
The road was, according to Saint Bonaventure's de- 
scription of it, 'rough, unknown, and little frequented.'^ 
It was in the winter season ; so that they had to travel in 
snow, rain, and wind, through rough and dirty roads. 
Mary was then fifteen years of age : a delicate young woman, 
unaccustomed to such journeys. They had no one to 
attend upon them. Saint Peter Chrysologus says, ' Joseph 
and Mary have no male or female servants; they were 
themselves both masters and servants.' ^ O God, what a 
touching sight must it hav^ been to have beheld that 
tender Virgin, with her new-bom babe in her arms, wan- 
dering through the world. ' But how,' asks Saint Bona- 
venture, *did they obtain their food? Where did they 
repose at night? How were they lodged?' * What can 
they have eaten but a piece of hard bread, either brought 
by Saint Joseph, or begged as an ahns ? Where can they 
have slept on such a road (especially on the two hundred 
miles of desert, where there were neither houses nor inns, 
as authors relate,) unless on the sand, or under a tree in u 
wood, exposed to the air, and the dangers of robbers and 
wild beasts, with which Egypt abounded ? Ah ! had any 
one met these three greatest personages in the world, for 
whom could he have taken them, but for three poor wan- 
dering beggars ? 

^ Fnge a tuifl od eiEtmneos, a templo ml dmnonum fana. Qiup major tribii- 
latio, quam quod recens natus a collo matris pendens nun ipsa matre paupercula 
fuzerecogatur? t 

^ Fortabat eum'Mater . . . per viam silvestrem, obscnram, nemorosam, aspc- 
ram, et inhabitatun.-— Z>» VUa Chritti^ cap. xiL 

3 Joseph et Maria non habent famulum, non aociHam -. ipsi domini et famub'. t 

'* Qoomodo fadebant do vkta deeum portando? Ubi etiaiu, et quomodo de 
nnrte qniesrebant, et bospitabantur ?— /)« Vit. C. cap. xii. 

34 § 

Tk«(y noided in £gypt, acpordiag to Biocitrd and 
Jaa9emuS(4 in « district called Maturea; thougk Saiiut 
Anseka says, tib«t they liYed in the eky ^ Qeliopolifi, or at 
Memphis, now called Old Cairo. Here lei; us oonsid^ 
the gr^at poverty they must have suffered during the seyeu 
years which, aceording to Saint Auiominua) ^aint Thomas^ 
and others, th^ spent there. They were foreigoeirs. uu^- 
known, witibout revenues, money, or ration?, barely able 
to support themselves by their humble efforts. * As they 
were de^itute,' says Saint Basil, ' it is evident that they 
must have laboured much to provide themselves with the 
necessaries of life.' ^ Landdph of Saxony has, moreover, 
written (and. let this be a consolation for the poor,) that 
' Mary lived there, in the midst of such poverty, that at 
times she had not even a bit of bread to give to her ^u, 
when, urged by hunger, He asked for it.' ^ 

After the death of Herod, Saint Matthew relates, the 
angel again appeared to Saint Joseph in a dream, and 
directed him to return to Judea. Sadnit Bonaventure, 
speakiog of tliis return considers how much greater the 
Blessed Virgin's sufferings must have beea^ on account of 
the pains of Jesus being so much increased as He was 
then about seven years of age ; an age, remarks the Saint, 
at which 'He was too big to be carried^ and not strong 
enough to walk without assistance.'^ 

The sight then of Jesus and Mary wandering as fugi- 
tives through the world, teaohes uSy that we also must live 
•<}& pilgrims here below, detached from the goods whidi 
the world offers us, and which we must soon leave to 
enter eternity : " We have not here a lasting city, but 
seek one that is to come." ^ To which Saint Augvidtiue 
adds : ' Thou art a guest ; thou givest a look, aud passest 

^ Cam enim essent egeni, mauifestnm est quod sudores firequentabant, neces- 
saria viteB inde sibi qiuerentes. t 

f Aliquando Filius famem patiens panem petit, nee ande dare mater habuit. — 
Vit. Chrisii, cap. xiii. t 

3 Nunc sic maffnus est quod }K)rtari non pmvnkt, et sic parvus quod per se